Staffing Problems with Staffing Solutions

There is a staffing problem that needs an urgent solution. The concern for many organizations is how to deal with staffing issues. The success of any employer relies on the quality of staff the organization has. It also depends on how one acquires and maintains them. The exit programs must also be smooth enough so that the worker can continue to appreciate the organization even when he or she is no longer working there.

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The United States of America is one nation that boasts of good working conditions. There are well-designed mechanisms for the workers’ well-being. However, in any development of human issues, there never ceases to be some problems. The fire department and the police unit are some of the most important sectors of the economies. The police keep law and order and hence promote coexistence. The fire unit ensures that emergency cases get the attention they deserve (Khalil & Adelabu, 2012).

The Great Recession of 2008 caused many changes to the working environment. In order to cope with the situation, they had to downsize their employees. Due to that, there were some challenges that developed. Previously, public safety operations never went through scrutiny. It was because both elected and appointed officials feared the outcry from the public.

The recession helped to discover the problems in public safety agencies. The inability to produce balanced budgets was of great concern. The public scrutiny by the managers also helped to find that the budgets for the public safety operations had gone up. In some units, it even increased by over 50 percent. It led to the reduction in funding and staffing of the police and the fire agencies. However, there was no improvement in the outcomes, as was expected.

The recession made the entire local, and national government rethink on the issue of funding and staffing. Therefore, prerecession staffing levels had to change. Even after the staff reductions, the agencies were still able to serve the citizens. They realized that they had to employ different and more improved management techniques. They also started using modern technology to set the pace for the new direction.

Another discovery was the significant disconnect between what the assumed workload was as compared to the reality in the public safety departments. There were some areas that even had staffing levels higher than what the workload was. There is a significant shift now from traditional expectations. The federal grant requirement has moved from measuring outputs to measuring outcomes. The lack of considerable change for over forty years in the police department caused the agency to face stiff challenges that resulted in significant changes for the last five years. The same problem affects the fire department. The Emergency Medical Services that the fire department incorporated in its operations only achieved minimal cost benefits. It had not worked out as was expected, and hence its effectiveness needed improvements (Nfpa.org, 2015).

The unionization of public employees was another important area to consider. The states allowed them to arbitrate on public employees’ salaries, increments, and disputes. As a result, public safety employees were classified in a particular category. Due to the interactions with the private sector and affiliation with experienced private union leaders, they out-negotiated the government. Since arbitrations significantly led to pay rise, the budget for salary expenses went up all the time. The communities had to give up their management rights rather than pay more wages. It has led to the inability of the police to manage the public safety departments effectively. The Fair Labor Standards Act allowed the unionized staff to go through arbitration with their employers. The binding decisions with the outside arbitrators led to the unmanageable conditions that the employer had to solve. The system allowed people to add more agencies and more wages for the staff (Nfpa.org, 2015).

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The problems underlined above need quick solutions. It can help the police and the fire agencies to serve the interest of the nation. It includes any other agencies of the state. There is a need to analyze workloads and deployment thoroughly. There should not be a case where the agency employs because it has the authority to do so. Employment must happen when there is a considerable need for staffing. Delaware, Ohio is leading the nation in applying modern techniques when it comes to staffing. It has altered the fire staffing levels to meet the demand. It has also implemented the 12-hour shifts in addition to the 24-hour shift.

There is also a need t to involve the civilians in the police service. Although there is resistance to this in some states, it seems to be the best way to reduce police costs. Mesa, Arizona, is one good and successful example of civilian involvement in police work.

The number of police agencies in the country needs to go down. There are 18,000 police agencies in the United States. Some of them have fewer than ten police officers. The agencies can merge into one big unit that can take care of the core mission of the police plus other added services.

Other counties and states can operate jointly to find amicable solutions to security and safety. In Miami-Dade County, the agencies have joined hands to form an association of police that is strong and able to combat safety and security concerns (Biddle & Biddle, 2013). The cooperation puts together the chiefs and assistant chiefs of the 38 Municipal police agencies. The Director of the Miami-Dade County Police departments and heads of school boards are also part of the team (‘International police executive symposium,” 2003). They meet once a month to deliberate on available concerns. There is constant sharing of information and resources (‘International police executive symposium’,’ 2003). It makes the solving of crimes easier and cheaper. It also prevents duplication and cuts down on costs. As a result, there improves service for the community.

There is a need for alternative service delivery systems. The cross-training between the police and fire agencies has existed for many years (Trought, 1991). It started in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. It operates a fully consolidated public safety agency. From the cross-training, the police can offer services such as fire suppression and rescue services.

There is a need for innovations across the board. The changes being experienced now are a result of managers rethinking their services to the people. The new strategies can work for the growth of the towns and communities. Security is a necessity for everyone. Emergencies occur most often and need the attention of the safety and security authorities. There will not be a return to the way things were before the Great Recession. Greater cooperation is required to be able to find solutions to historical problems. The managers need to work towards giving the residents quality service.

References

Biddle, R., & Biddle, D. (2013). What Public-Sector Employers Need to Know About Promotional Practices, Procedures, and Tests in Public Safety Promotional Processes: After Ricci v. DeStefano. Public Personnel Management, 42(2), 151-190. Web.

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International police executive symposium. (2003). Police Practice And Research, 4(3), 327-327. Web.

Khalil, D., & Adelabu, D. (2012). Model for Efficient Service Delivery in Public Service. Jpag, 2(3). Web.

Nfpa.org,. (2015). The fire service. Web.

Trought, B. (1991). Training the fire fighters. Manuf. Eng, 70(8), 26. Web.

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