Palmyra Public Safety Officer Paul Blount drives his department’s ambulance out of the garage. His background prior to joining the department was as an EMT, but now as become a police officer as well as the department has continued to integrate police, fire and EMT services. The department always has two officers on duty that can help out in all three areas, just like Blount. (Ryan Spoehr photo)

Public Safety Department now has 2 officers on at all times

By Ryan Spoehr
As the need for help from law enforcement, EMTs and firefighters has continued to be there and in some instances possibly increased, but funds have been in a short supply, Palmyra Public Safety Department officials have continued to look at ways to provide that help as best as possible to residents in Palmyra and the surrounding area.
In recent years, more staff members have been trained and authorized to be not just a police officer, but an EMT and firefighter while on duty. With a recent change in how shifts are maintained, the department now has two officers who, between the two, can help in all three areas at any given time at all times.
“The village has wanted 24-7 coverage for a long time. Officers won’t be patrolling 24-7, but they will be available,” Public Safety Director James Small said prior to the launch of the new system on Jan. 7.
Since that time, the department has been operational 24/7. Two officers are on duty for 24 hours. Sixteen of those hours are on some sort of duty for the department with eight hours being on-call time, which includes sleep time. Two people have shifts from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and another officer has a shift from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Before, the department relied on just mutual aid to ensure all three areas were being addressed at all times.
“There’s no doubt the program is working. It is cheaper compared to other programs in communities of similar sizes. It’s probably a better formula too,” Public Safety Director James Small said.
“It’s running smoothly. It’s still a new thing, but it has been terrific so far,” Public Safety officer Paul Blount said. “We haven’t missed a call yet. We haven’t had any issues at all with that operation. Calls are being answered by two officers, sometimes more, Public Safety officers.”
Small has assembled a team of people from various backgrounds from all three.
For more on the new system in Palmyra, pick up a copy of the March 2 edition of The Enterprise of Palmyra and Eagle.


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