Few things affect our lives more than the quality and quantity of public safety resources. Our fire and police personnel are second to none. The quality, training and dedication of these men and women reflect great credit upon themselves and the leaders within their departments. However, with our rapidly growing city there are limits to what these professionals can do without proper support.
Clarksville remains one of the faster growing cities in the state and region. Continued growth near 3% a year is expected and the need for additional public safety resources will continue. Emergency call loads increase yearly. However, city leadership is consistently behind in providing the staffing and resources to meet current and projected needs.
Police requirements are currently based on population size. Fire Rescue primarily relies on response times and crew/equipment ratios to meet workload and training needs. We CAN forecast population and emergency call growth and, in turn, plan ahead to meet the need for police officers and equipment. We CAN monitor fire rescue response times on a continuous basis and detect trends. This data is available and can be put to better use in planning future safety resource needs.
As Clarksville Mayor I will continue to endorse and require the hard-earned national accreditation that the Clarksville Police department has attained. This accreditation helped focus improvements in operations. It makes them among the elite in the country and reflects favorably when going for national grants.
I will also endorse and require, while providing the needed support and resources, Clarksville Fire Rescue attain national accreditation. A state Municipal Technical Advisory Service study states a handful of Tennessee city fire departments have such accreditation. There is high correlation that fire departments that earn such accreditation also see their Insurance Services Office (ISO) classification improve. Clarksville currently has an excellent Class 2 rating (range is 1 to 10, with a 10 being essential no fire coverage, Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Service is Class 6). Attainment of a Class 1 rating by Clarksville Fire Rescue would mean lower fire insurance rates for residents and businesses.
These initiatives will help public safety meet its future mission and make for a better Clarksville.