John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development;
Consolidation of 9-1-1 emergency communications is a politically charged issue full of opportunities and pitfalls for state policymakers. Typically, consolidation reduces the number of locally managed Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) by combining operations of several communications centers.1 The process may also result in a reduction in the number of sites that dispatch police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) response units. If the process is handled well, it can lead to efficiencies and improved service for citizens. If not handled well, it can disrupt vital services and increase tensions among state and local authorities. As New Jersey leaders consider further consolidation of the 9-1-1 system, they should take into account the experience of other states.
This report is the result of the Heldrich Center's research on trends in consolidation. A central goal of this research is to throw light on different approaches to encouraging consolidation and lessons that may inform New Jersey's future strategy. Telephone interviews were conducted with officials in six states and two regions that have experience with consolidation of answering and dispatch points (See Map below). The states are Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.2 The two regions are Cook County, Illinois and Volusia County, Florida. In addition, researchers reviewed state reports and public documents. The methodology is described in the appendix.
The Heldrich Center's research yielded a range of findings on the experience of other states:
- States have tended to support local con solidation by providing financial incentives, setting standards, and providing technical assistance. There are few examples of state policies that require rather than encourage PSAPs to merge operations. In fact, none of the states in the study employs a direct mandate. Some states have played a limited or virtually no role in supporting local consolidation.
- The states and regions included in this study differ on many dimensions, but they share a common experience with consolidation of 9-1-1 services. State and regional officials cite the same barriers to consolidation and point to similar models of effective practices.
- Although states can play a role, consolidation is, in essence, a local process driven by local decision-makers. Local elected officials are likely to drive con solidation if they recognize the benefits. Governance and accountability are thorny issues that must be worked out locally.
The results of consolidation are not well documented. Examples of cost savings are more commonly cited at the state level than at the local level. Estimates of cost savings related to personnel are particularly elusive. State and regional officials strongly believe that consolidation leads to improved service, although it is not clear how improved service is measured.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network.
The FA system served by The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida provides emergency food for an estimated 731,900 different people annually.47% of the members of households served by The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).33% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 64% are food insecure and 35% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 184.108.40.206).55% of clients served by The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).32% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).23% of households served by The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida included approximately 489 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 338 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 275 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.79% of pantries, 63% of kitchens, and 53% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 86% of pantries, 74% of kitchens, and 49% of shelters of The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 78% of the food distributed by pantries, 52% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 38% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 92% of pantries, 79% of kitchens, and 72% of shelters in The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).