Public Safety

Public Safety


Public safety is a major concern in United States due to increase of crime rate that poses danger to individuals and the society in general. Apart from crime, severe accidents, pandemics, terrorism and environmental disasters also pose additional threats to public safety (Favraud et al., 2016). In a world that is volatile, chaotic and dangerous public safety is important for the prosperity of social and economic cohesion. Citizens need safety for them to live and undertake their communications and businesses. Current research shows that 70% of United States citizens live in major cities which the number increasing every year (Turner & Meyer, 2015). The current trend towards urbanization is likely to pose challenges and necessitate new operating models in terms of how to protect the people in every state. Therefore, there is need to develop a new strategies of dealing with public security and focus on an important policy that will support public safety.

Every state has its own regulations and rules of maintaining public safety. However, it is still important to implement measures and policies that ensure public security is maintained. The fundamental principle of protecting the citizen’s life and property should be realized by both the federal and state governments (Favraud et al., 2016). Setting up a policy that will enable the coordination and provision of public safety is the most important strategy in any state government. The state government needs to necessitate a more effective and extensive approach to coordination of the policy across the communities. Implementing a public safety policy will not only enhance the safety measures in the state but also provide enough security to the general public (Birkland, 2015). The public safety policy incorporates the state government, the police and other interest groups that will work together to incorporate public safety as an issue at hand in the state development initiative. The most important aspect about the policy is that it will shape the roles played by the police and other security agencies in maintaining public safety and provide priorities and goals for implementing different strategies.

Bodies Influencing the Policy Formulation

State Legislature

The state legislature comprises of government officials such as the members of the congress and state assembly. They are the primary policy makers since they have direct constitutional power of formulating and initiating any policy (Head, 2016). As designated law makers, the legislators represent the citizens and are expected to gather the interests, views points, problems and demands of the people, analyze them and present them as policy proposals. The policy proposal is subjected to a legislative process of debating, reading and scrutiny. The proposed policy will then be forwarded for the president’s accent. The formulated public security policy sets up the required action and policy program which the state legislature will evaluate and implement. It is important to the state that, the legislature is active in policy making process since they play significant policy roles in implementation of any proposed policy.

The judiciary system

The judiciary is not authorized by the constitution to formulate, instigate or implement any policy. Nevertheless, it significantly influences the policy making process through the interpretation of laws and the constitution. According to Birkland (2017), four crucial instruments employed by the judiciary in reacting to the policies include judicial activism, judicial review, cases on economic matters and statutory interpretation on cases brought to the judges. When matters relating to public security are taken to the court, their decisions often translate to policy fine turning, policy making or re-policing. Through the judiciary, several interventions are brought out that not only redirect and modify policies but moderate the implementation activities (Head, 2016). It is also an actor that ensures constitutionality, fairness, propriety, moderation and justice in the policy making process.

Other State Agencies

Other state agencies that influence the public safety formulation process include the state administrators. Within their agencies, state administrators are known to be the supplementary policy makers (Birkland, 2017). They work directly the government’s executive arm since they act as implementers of any public policy. State administrators influence policy formulation by engaging in non-enforcements and foot dragging altogether. They generate, formulate and initiate the policy through the executive as well as push for the best initiatives. Their experience, skills and training in governmental tasks puts them in the right position of tackling policy issues. State administrators continue to wield substantial influence in the policy process since they engage in restricting and facilitating policy choices which are applicable to their abilities.

The police department also influences the public safety policy formulation since it the main safe keeping agency in the states. The department also has several community policing programs that identify and implement the policed services in the neighborhood in order to improve the quality of life, reduce the crime rate and engage the members of community in solving problems and building partnerships (Ortmeier, 2017). The dedication of police officers in improvement of the citizens’ lives is an integral part of the Police Department in cultivating partnership between schools, parents and the community. This helps in developing active and productive youthful leaders in the community of the community. The officers are responsible for proving mentorship, diversion programs and tutoring during the policy formulation process (Tunner & Meyer, 2015). The policy program formulated by the department has dedicated leaders who promote and ensure the education, safety and welfare of the residents throughout the state.

Influence of interest groups

Interest groups are associations of individuals that share common beliefs, aspirations and interests on their demands. They influence the policy making by advocating and advancing for their demands and interests. There are several groups that influence the public safety policy including the American Security Council, Center for Security Policy, Keep America Safe and National Association of Police Organization (Birkland, 2015). All the groups perform an interest articulation by presenting alternatives and expressing demands for public safety policy actions. They supply the government officials and legislators with information regarding the possible nature and consequences of policy proposal. They also mobilize the public to support them in their advocacy on specific proposals.

Political Parties

Political parties incorporate groups of likeminded people who come together with an aim of controlling the machinery of government. During their mission to pursue their sole concern of gaining political power, political leaders play crucial roles in policy formulation. Political parties that control their levels of power tend to influence their members in policy formulation( Head, 2015). The parties have some of their top members among the official policy makers who try to build and advocate coalitions to favor their party programs into policy proposals. Political parties are important in wielding substantial influence by providing options to the existing public safety policy.

Mass media

Policy making process is a governmental process involving different economic and social factors and the media plays a major role in shaping its social development context. Through the media the public will be able to understand how the public safety policy will affect them (Favraud et al., 2016). The media acts as a main conduit between the government and the people and pays a crucial role in determining the central issues for policy makers. In the recent years the media has been playing a critical role in the public and policy makers about the cause of insecurity in the states and its consequences and has helped in shaping the debates about public safety. The media has been frequently criticized for exacerbating and sensationalizing the public safety issue, thus encouraging the extreme policy responses taken by the states (Head, 2016). It is well known that the media influences policy formulation by encouraging voters and making them more response to the outcomes of formulated policy. The public safety policy will be communicated to the public through the media, thus opening public dialogues allowing the public to give their opinions and ideas (Birkland, 2017). This will lead to effective policy formulation that protects the welfare of the people.


Public safety is a major concern and the police play an integral part in shaping it. It will be more productive for policy makers to encourage proactive and productive relationship between the police and the community (Favraud et al., 2016). This relationship will enable the public and the police to exchange information about crime related problems that affect the state. The robust relationship will enable the police to respond to crime by creating safety and heading off to the problems before they emerge. The police needs to expand its partnership with community services and work together to ensure that people returning to the community after incarceration are able to access the needed support services to reduce recidivism thus encourage public safety (Tanner & Meyer, 2015). The police should work with the local merchants to keep the lines of communication open in case of crime or any threat to public safety. However, involving the police in public safety can be a challenge. Several cases which are a threat to the public safety have been reported including improper actions by the specialized units, defiant tactics and substantive defiance’s including egregious delays (Ortmeier, 2017). All the actions contribute to a practice of excessive force and are found justified.

The most evident problem that a state can encounter during policy formulation is funding challenges. Most states are strained with budgets as they confront public discontent, organizational dysfunction and rising population. However, with enough funding the state government will be able to implement several security measures that will help in maintaining the public safety (Tumalavičius & Greičius, 2017). Investing the financial resources on public safety will enable the state to upgrade to new security measures that are able to oversee all the activities taking place in the state. Therefore, the law enforcement has balance the financial demands from different sources and come up with ways to become more effective and efficient.

A considerable progress can be made in the state’s public safety. This can be done by upgrading the technological systems including the use of body cameras, data analytics, license plate readers, video surveillance, social media and gunshot sensors (Ortmeier, 2017). These features will enable the state police and other officials collaborate with one another and integrate data. The technological advances will ensure the protection of public safety and encourage the citizens to live safer lives. However, the state has been facing major implementation challenges including infrastructure difficulties, poor funding lack of technical expertise, poor funding and security and privacy concerns (Tumalavičius & Greičius, 2017). The policy makers are not able to take advantage of the existing technologies even though public safety is a crucial aspect.

Building public support is another effective measure that can help tackle public safety issue. In a state where law enforcements, need help from the people to solve crimes, it is important to come up with innovative ways of building support. A community engagement strategy is needed to build rapport with the public (Tumalavičius & Greičius, 2017). Law enforcements should not see people as adversaries but see them as partners in dealing with security measures. Mechanisms can be set up to adopt new practices and security agencies should create training programs of handling things in a proper way (Birkland, 2015). This involves professional development opportunities and awards for effective performances. This solution can be effective but it can be challenging since many residents are skeptical about the law enforcements. Most of them think that the law enforcement is unresponsive, unfair and discriminatory in its regular practices. Therefore, this will make it challenging for law enforcement officers to identify threats to public safety without information from the general public.


The state government needs to maintain and achieve high levels of service by ensuring public safety and the expectations of the citizens are met. The best strategy is using the new forms of technology in security and law enforcement agencies. Through technology the police will be able to directly communicate with the people on issue affecting them using various channels including mobile communications, social media, emailing and video calls (Tunner & Meyer, 2015). The issue of funding can be dealt with by increasing budget investment and liaising with the national government to provide adequate funding for innovation through technology. Technology presents an effective way of improving public safety, promoting stronger connections between the community and law enforcement agencies and integrating solutions such as data analytics, video and other effective solutions (Tumalavičius & Greičius, 2017). Greater innovation is also encouraged through crowd sourcing platforms that encourage citizen participation, balancing the security and privacy concerns and making data openly available. With more progress made in these areas, the benefits of technology in maintaining public safety can be brought to a greater number of people.


The issue of public safety is an important aspect in this contemporary life. Despite the major success of the state government in ensuring public safety, there is need for more strategies and a more innovative policy to bring out satisfaction among the members of the community. The public safety policy incorporates the state government, the police and other interest groups that will work together to ensure that new strategies towards public security are developed. There are several parties that influence the policy formulation including the state legislature, judiciary system, interest groups, political parties and the mass media. The parties have their different ways of influencing the policy making process. Dealing with public safety needs several solutions including a mutual relationship between the public and the police, adequate funding, technological advances and building pubic support. The best strategy to handle public safety is through technology which provides different innovative ways including better communications, data analytics, surveillance and social media. Therefore with public safety being a major contributor to state development, it is important to focus on technological advances of ensuring security among the citizens.


















Birkland, T. A. (2015). An introduction to the policy process: Theories, concepts, and models of public policy making. Routledge.

Birkland, T. A. (2017). Agenda setting in public policy. In Handbook of public policy analysis (pp. 89-104). Routledge.

Favraud, R., Apostolaras, A., Nikaein, N., & Korakis, T. (2016). Toward moving public safety networks. IEEE Communications Magazine54(3), 14-20.

Head, B. W. (2016). Toward more “evidence‐informed” policy making?. Public Administration Review76(3), 472-484.

Ortmeier, P. J. (2017). Introduction to security. Pearson

Tanner, S., & Meyer, M. (2015). Police work and new ‘security devices’: A tale from the beat. Security dialogue46(4), 384-400.

Tumalavičius, V., & Greičius, S. (2017). Decision making of the ensuring public security at the level of the state territorial borders. Journal of security and sustainability issues, 27-37.


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