The objective of the City of Washington Public Safety departments is to provide an outstanding level of service and protection to all the citizens of Washington, the businesses and industries located in Washington, and to all persons visiting, working in, or passing through our community.
Prevention is as important to our Safety departments as is response. All departments are involved in citizen information programs from senior citizens down to pre-school children.
Visits by the Police to civic groups and to schools are a high priority. A School Resource Officer at the public high school and middle school provides students the opportunity to become acquainted, and less separated, from law enforcement. The Dare program is presented throughout the school district from grade school through middle school. The Police department also co-hosts a bicycle rodeo for young children and dances for teenagers. Not only in the prevention side, but also in the enforcement of laws, the Officers are taught to maintain the safety of the public. The Officers of the department are highly trained and maintain their professionalism through constant refresher courses and new subject training.
The Fire Department hosts safety meetings, takes fire prevention programs to the schools, teaches proper use of fire extinguishers to business and industries, does annual building inspections, and closely monitors safety requirements in the construction of large scale commercial and industrial sites. They are on hand at almost every public event to insure safety and provide quick response to any citizen in need of help. In response to calls for their help, they are not only dedicated to the safety of requesting citizen, but also to the safety of nearby citizens and passerbys. The Fire Department is a totally volunteer organization who maintains high training standards and certification for all members.
Both the Police Department and the Fire Department support Explorer Posts of male and female teenagers who are trained to support the functions of the departments.
The Ambulance District, while not a city department, is equally important and equally dedicated to the safety and well being of the citizens of Washington. They too, spend a considerable amount of time in prevention presentations to all ages of citizens. They maintain a headquarters close to the hospital and are equipped with the latest technology and equipment. They cooperate closely with Police and Fire to insure quick help in emergency situations.
The three “on the street” safety organizations cooperate very closely with each other whether in planning, prevention, or response. They jointly plan emergency response procedures for any kind of disaster that might hit the City of Washington. Both the Fire and Ambulance also serve outside the city limits while the Police cooperate and support as needed, the law enforcement units in both the county and other communities within the area.
Cooperation between the three “on the street” safety organizations during emergencies or in everyday response would be impossible without competent, efficient, and around the clock communication. The Communications Department for the City of Washington is co-located in the Police Station. The members of the Communications Department go through extensive training to be able to answer the needs of the citizens and the “on the street” departments. They are trained to handle multiple activities at the same time. Those activities could relate to a stray dog to a lost child to a serious auto accident to a house fire to weather emergencies. It is critical that they remain calm and competent regardless of the emergency.
Not only are the above departments concerned with public safety, but also all employees of the City of Washington are instructed to report safety issues. In addition, many of the outside employees of the city are in positions where their daily work schedules bring them into contact with the citizens and thereby are instructed in safe driving and safe working habits.