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If OPD has to clear a crime scene before paramedics can intervene, perhaps it is time to consider having cross-trained Police Officers and Firefighters. Sunnyvale, in the heart of Silicon Valley cross-trains their Public Safety officers to be certified as Peace Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service personnel since 1950. http://www.sunnyvaledps.com/
Given that at least 80% of Oakland Fire Department calls are medical related calls (http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/OFD/o/EmergencyMedicalServices/index.htm) and our Police and Fire departments are short-staffed, allowing the combined on-duty staff from both departments to cross respond to crime and major incidents has some merit.
I don't know how you would get the Fire & PD unions with a great and long history of protecting our city to agree to such a merger. Yet given our fiscal constraints in Oakland, I think this is an idea that Mayor Quan and the City Council should study. Other California cities are also giving this concept more review:
The idea of starting this concept with new FD & PD hires sounds particularly attractive to me, especially since we have one (& hopefully two) new OPD officer academies starting in 2013.
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