As a civilized society, we have grown to expect a quick and effective response by a city's police, fire and emergency service agencies to an evolving range of threats.
Last weekend's near-drowning of a 7-year-old boy and the Ridge Fire, east of Layton, gives solid evidence of the essential need to have highly trained, skilled professionals quickly on the scene of an emergency.
While the journey to providing that safety and security will be unique to the different agencies, the overall goals are clear: Increase safety so there are fewer and less severe incidents that need response, and increase operating efficiency.
We can all appreciate that, without excellent public safety systems in place, the world would be in a state of chaos. Crime would go unreported and unchecked.
Imagine, if you will, the mass murders taking place in schools, malls, movie theaters and most recently, in places of worship -- all places that are normally considered safe places for families to gather). Many innocent lives have been lost in mere seconds.
Using the same scenarios, picture those incidents with no emergency responders to intervene, and then imagine the countless additional lives that would be lost.
Note the arson, assaults, rapes, murders, child abuse, robberies, gang intimidation, domestic violence and other serious crimes that require an immediate public safety response.
The alarms, underage alcohol consumption, disorderly conduct, dangerous animal on the loose, noise complaints, burglaries, civil disputes, criminal mischief, computer crime, fraud, forgery, narcotics violations, driving under the influence, harassment, shoplifting, trespassing, stalking, extortion, reckless burning, custodial disputes, criminal nonsupport, issuing bad checks, embezzlement, misuse of public funds, prescription fraud, graffiti, juvenile runaways, littering, ordinance violations, prostitution, lewdness and simply wide-ranging threats are all examples of the type of calls that local public safety officials respond to every day.
The importance of public safety can't be minimized in light of the constant dangers posed to individuals and the overall public.
Constant efforts are needed, by both government and individuals, to ensure that public safety needs are met in every aspect of society so that better health and quality of life become the rule rather than the exception.
Public safety officials cannot meet all of the demands that society places on them. Consequently there has been a genuine effort to engage the community in outreach programs such as RadKids, D.A.R.E., Neighborhood Watch, Citizens Academy, and Crime Free Multi-Housing. These programs provide information and training so people can better protect themselves, and also help in solving crime through communication and partnering with those who protect us.
The mission of our public safety organizations is to work within our government and with our citizens to recognize and resolve the public safety concerns by providing quality, professional service in an honest and ethical manner.
Steve Curtis has worked as a business consultant and communication specialist. He is currently mayor of Layton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.