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Posted on Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Ypsilanti officials consider proposal to consolidate fire, police into one department

By Katrease Stafford


The Ypsilanti Fire Department could possibly be combined with the police department into a single public safety department.

Jeffrey Smith |

Ypsilanti officials are weighing a plan to combine the city's police and fire departments into a single department of public safety to combat rising expenses and shrinking funds.

The proposal would cross-train police officers and firefighters, cutting the department down to three full-time firefighters.

That threat, following years of budget trimming, prompted Fire Chief Jon Ichesco to submit his retirement plans in late September.

The police department has 25 sworn officers and four civilians. The fire department has 18 firefighters.

Through attrition, by the end of this year the fire department will be down to 15. If this plan is implemented the department would further decline to having just three firefighters, three lieutenants, and one fire marshal, who would also serve as a lieutenant.

The plan calls for a fire deputy chief, police deputy chief and a director of public safety whose responsibilities would encompass the entire department. All together there would be about 42 employees. Of that number, 20 would be cross-trained public safety officers.

If implemented, Ypsilanti would be the first city within the county to cross-train police and firefighters.


Ypsilanti Fire Chief Jon Ichesco

Tom Perkins | For

Fire Union President Ken Hobbs said the plan would effectively eliminate a layer of command from the department and stretch resources thin.

"Currently we have three captains and three lieutenants," he said. "The plan eliminates captains. They’re two separate professions and if you try to combine the two, you’re going to water it down.

"The police side is demanding and the fire is demanding. It’s a huge difference for us in the way we operate. I don’t think the city has a plan."

Police Chief Amy Walker supports the plan and said everyone has taken concessions.

"We've had five retirements since June and none of those positions have been filled due to budget cuts," Walker said. "... I think we're exploring it and seeing if it's the best option.

"It's not like this model hasn't been tested. Is it the best for Ypsilanti? Time will tell."

With only 20 spots available for cross-trained individuals from both departments, Hobbs and Ichesco are concerned about how many employees could be left without jobs due to the new model.

"There are operational problems (with the plan)," Ichesco said. "It's just a logistic nightmare for me to think about right now."

Walker said several communities throughout the state have implemented this model and have found success with it. She cited Kalamazoo as an example, which is one of the largest with more than 300 cross-trained public officers.

Walker said she is concerned about officers being spread to thin and said this is why the current business model is not working.

"My police department can't continue this way," she said. "This could be a more efficient way of doing business. (Union officials) want a detailed plan and I want that too, but they have to certainly allow the city enough time."

City Manager Ralph Lange declined to comment on the specifics of his proposed plan because he said it's too premature in the discussion.

"I appreciate the fact that they are concerned and have doubts or don’t maybe want to do this, (but) I think it's really early to comment," Lange said. "...I just don’t think it's possible to continue to do business as usual and what that will look like is not decided."

The fire department recently found out it was denied a $1.3 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant from the Department of Homeland Security. If received, the grant would have been used to hire up to seven firefighters. Ichesco has re-applied for the 2012 round.

"My plan has been all along that you formulate your budget not anticipating or budgeting in that you're going to get grants," Lange said. "I'm trying to structure the city's finances where we can provide services whether we get the grants or not...

"We are looking at everything in terms of finances and how we can best serve the people, and that includes police and fire."

Lange said a "hard look" is being taken at the budget and how police and fire deliver services.

Mayor Paul Schreiber said the city has now gone twice to the voters in hopes of securing an income tax to boost city revenue. With both failing, the city is continuing its search for possible revenue generators while making sure basic services are still provided.

"What you’re seeing is in order for us to be successful as a city, everybody is going to have to give to get something that’s going to work for our city and residents," Schreiber said. "...All I know is Mr. Lange is doing a good job working on all of the possible options to make our city as sustainable as possible.

"It's still a work in process. No decision has been made."

Ichesco said many public safety departments serve as an overarching umbrella, while allowing the two departments to remain separate.

"Pittsfield Township is one, but they are not cross-trained," he said. "That's been the most common way: to put them under one umbrella, but you have to have adequate staffing to do so."

Ichesco has voiced his opposition to the plan and said there are other viable options worth considering.

"There are options from a functional district, to going to a full authority to contracting out," he said. "When you do this it has to be specific for you. It has to be tailored around your work… I think a regional authority is probably the most advantageous to go with."

Hobbs and Ichesco said prior regional authority discussions had taken place in 2007 with the city of Ann Arbor and its previous City Administrator Roger Fraser. Although those discussions never panned out, Ichesco said they recently were put back on the table.


City Manager Ralph Lange proposed the plan that could create an Ypsilanti Department of Public Safety

"They are again interested in looking at this regionally, but this public safety system is something Mr. Lange is familiar with," Ichesco said.

Schreiber confirmed that talks have taken place with other neighboring communities about a possible regional fire authority. Locally, other municipalities have not only explored, but ultimately created authorities. Chelsea has had a fire department since 1881, while the regional fire authority, which brought together the city, Lima, Lyndon and Sylvan townships, began in 1999.

"I think when you stand back and look at it, it makes all the sense in the world to have a regional fire department," Schreiber said. "It gets very complex very quickly and it's going to take a considerable amount of effort from everybody."

Schreiber said the creation of a regional authority has been a goal of Ichesco's for a long while.

"In a perfect world that’s where I would like to see us go," Schreiber said.

With Ypsilanti Township adjacent to the city, some city officials have suggested combining fire services with it as a more feasible option, but only if the two municipalities would be able to agree upon terms.

"We have had some informal talks about that, but I think it's pretty fair to say that Ypsilanti Township is in better financial standing than Ypsilanti," he said. "We have to make some changes...Maybe it'll be an outcome of these negotiations.

"... It’s a tough situation."

Under Public Act 345, Ichesco was required to retire by age 65, which he turned last year. Ischeco is also enrolled in a program that would have allowed him to stay through 2014.

"I knew at some point I was going to be gone and I was trying to put together a system or fire protection package for the citizens that had some life to it, some longevity," he said. "Would I have time to re-engineer all this? Probably not."

Instead, Ichesco has chosen to leave ahead of time because of the plan that he believes could have a drastic effect on how city services are delivered.

“The SAFER grant isn’t pushing me out the door,” Ichesco said. “It’s just one of the straw’s on the camel’s back… You know when it’s time to retire not by age, but when you don’t want to walk in the back door. You have to know when it’s time to fold up.”

Ichesco said he contemplated staying, but ultimately decided it's time for someone else to take over the department as it continues to evolve.

"There’s a lot more fun things to do than fight a battle on two fronts," Ichesco said. "It's better for me to go now and let someone come in and work and engineer this as opposed to me taking pieces and parts and trying to make something out of it. You can't. You’re starting from scratch with this."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


Person of Emet

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

KALAMAZOO- Population 74,743---Total PSO personnel according to their website 303. Now, that equates to about one PSO per 246.75 persons. 303x246.75=74,765 "All together there would be about 42 employees. Of that number, 20 would be cross-trained public safety officers" YPSILANTI- Population 19,596---Total of all personnel = 42. That equals 1 per 466.54 per persons. If you take just the proposed PSO only, that equates to 1 PSO per 979.8 per persons. Current Ypsilanti Police staffing is 25 sworn. Current Ypsilanti FD staffing is 18 sworn but going down to 15. So 25+18=43 TOTAL personnel. If the city wants to pursue this, then I am ok with it. However, they will need to explain to me several things. 1. If the possible PSO department will have 42 personnel, that is only 1 person different than current staffing models, how will this SAVE money? 2. Why not look at combining the FD with a surrounding dept, Westland/Wayne just got it done! 3. If you want to compare and use KZoo as the model, then why won't the city be staffed like they are? 19,596/246.75 would mean that the city would need 79 TOTAL PSO personnel. Why not look at PD merging with Washtenaw Cty Sheriff's Dept, City of Pontiac PD and Oakland County Sheriff Dept got it done! So folks, the fact is, I am ok with exploring options. However, lets look at the basic facts and ALL the options before deciding what to do. Then, if becoming a PSO dept is the way to go, so be it.

not a billy

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

Kudos to Fire Chief Jon Ichesco. He has been battlingto improve/sustain the department for many years, both as a Chief and as previously as an official of the Fire Fighters Union, Local 401. Lack of leadership on both the city and the union sides have hampered his efforts, challenged his knowledge, and created lots of unnecessary BS. Sincerely hope you enjoy your retirement Chief Ichesco. You deserve it, gave the job your best shot!

Katrease Stafford

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Hello all, I just wanted to add a bit more information. The proposal, which is still in its inception phase, includes three firefighters, three lieutenants and one fire marshal- for a total of seven fire personnel. All seven would be able to respond to fires.

not a billy

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Three firefighters and three lieutenants on the department, but only one of each on duty at any given time. The Fire Marshal would be working a forty-hour week, Monday thru Friday. My math says that you would only have three people available to respond to fires during those forty hours, the rest of the time there would be only two. This thinking shows how flawed the proposal is and how little most people understand about fire protection. And this coming from the reporter who did the story.

Megan Turf

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Hey, PineyWoodsGuy, when Paradise Manor caught fire in Ypsi in 2007 (or there abouts), cops were the first through the door. Shows how much you know.

Megan Turf

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

I voted FOR the income tax explicitly for this purpose. Cops as firefighters? Thanks, but if my or my neighbor's house catches on fire, i'd like a firefighter to put it out, not a cop that took a weekend course 6 months ago on how to properly hold a hose. This is b.s. I'd much rather look into the regionalization. Firefighters in the township or AA are going to be better at putting out a fire than a police officer is. Way to go SCIT. Hope your house catches before mine. We can test out this new "idea".


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Can we have a poll for this issue? It would be interesting to see who is for and who is against in a quick snapshot.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Hello, you have reached the automated help service at Ypsilanti City Hall. If this is an police emergency - Press 1 for the Folice and Pyre department If this is a fire emergency - Press 1 for the Pyre and Folice department If this is not an emergency - You may press 1 to pay your water bill Or press 1 to pay a parking ticket Or you may press 1 at any time to repeat this message...


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

It seems to make more sense to combine individual fire departments into one large fire protection district than it does to combine two dissimilar functions into one unit.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 9:28 a.m.

It is truly a Sad Situation, a comment upon the Ypsi City "New Englander" mindset. The Logical Solution is to Combine with Ypsi Twp FD!!! What most of the posters dint unnerstand is that Firefighters respond to the call and Kick In Doors and enter it, save lives and get to the Heart of the Fire! Firefighters are Proactive! Cops are Reactive; they "take reports" from citizens and write-them-out. Show me a cop that will kick in the door of a burning building and enter it and I will show you a Freak-of-Nature!

greg, too

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

While I agree with you that the logical solution for Ypsi city is to merge with one or all of the townships, this does require the townships to want to merge them as well (I assume you cannot annex a fire dept). As the article states, they are not hurting as bad as the city department is, so there really isn't an incentive for them to join up.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 1:09 a.m.

Cops and Smokees cross training? Shoot the door open and axe questions. The new departments name "Fire Police" will make many felons in the hood vary happy. The reduction in fire protection should resolve years of blight and obsolete industrial architecture. "Devil's night Detroit style" Coming soon to a house near you!

Martin Church

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

I suggest the following: The city of Ypsilanti bring together a committee of folks to investigate and develop a real plan for our future. Members of this committee should be 2 members of the police and fire department each, 4 voters of the city of ypsilanti (no elected officals) also a corresponding membership of the township. this committee would have 6 months to come up with the best plan for both community. this committee should have no elected leadership from ether the union or community. they should be charged to look at all options for both communities and then give the best options back to the community. 6 months should be long enough to review the options and maybe come up with a better plan the current leadership is offering. Right now I feel like we voted against the milleage the leadership wanted and now pay back is being done to the citizens of both community. it is time to stop politics and come up with real solutions. Otherwise we can expect ether emergency manager or bankrupcy.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

I really like your idea Martin. At the least, you suggested an idea for a solution. Many of the Ypsi Fire Fighters are my friends but I'm also a management focused guy. I can see when things aren't working. Of course, this one is pretty clear. I'd propose one change. Engage local emergency management, such as from EMU and the County, in the conversation. They will be in charge of coordinating these people in a large emergency so they should have a say. I'd also encourage you to send this idea up the chain, not just in a online comment. It's a good idea. Not a quick fix but neither is the transition to a Public Safety Department. Personally, I like the idea of a regional fire authority. Not sure how much it helps with the budget issues though...would like to look more into that.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

A couple of points here. Check with the highly regarded Kalamazoo PSDepartment, and you will find that their PSO's are very highly paid and compensated in order to gain and retain quality personnel. So if Ypsi is willing to pay that kind of money per person for good folks, maybe they're on to something. Now on to Chelsea. True statement about Chelsea's Fire services, but they were already serving those townships from the Village FD from day one just on a contract basis. So all that "Authority" did was make the dept. jointly owned and controlled by the CAFA Board consisting of representatives from each political jurisdiction, and not the Village/City Council. So no one in 1999 saw any change in the service they were provided. The problem with Public Safety is two fold, and some of you have already figured it out. A Cop is a cop because he wants to be one, and he trains and focuses on Law Enforcement tactics and issues. A Firefighter wants to be a Firefighter, and has some interest in EMS/Medical responses. Like the Cop, he trains hundreds of hours on Fire, EMS and Rescue tactics and Responses. Sit ANY cop or firefighter that you know down in an informal setting, and ask them if they have any interest in being cross-trained, and if they are honest, they'll tell it's two different worlds, with 2 different mind sets. Second, fires, rescues and crimes in progress are handled by boots on the ground, not technology. There is no subsitute for people on scene of these events, each doing what they have been specially trained to do. Will the PSO leave the scene of a bank robbery or domestic assault in progress to respond to a car on fire, or a person with chest pain? I'll bet the bank hostages or the person getting beaten up hopes they're not bailing out. But the person who's ill or has a fire at their home is praying that a lot of "boots" are running in their direction right now. Also, what about the YPD Chief and Command staff, are they ready to fight fire


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.


Tom Todd

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

x=Reaganomics does not work! except for mexico


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Kalamazoo moved to a single public safety department many years ago and he world did not end. This is an idea worth exploring.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

Combine city's police & fire departments into a single dept of public safety and cross-train officers & firefighters.....cutting the dept down to three full time fire fighters. I keep revisiting this site to see what comments/ responses are being made from those folks who twice voted down a new minimal tax, which may have prevented this current crisis and supported our police and fire fighters who serve us so loyally, in the face of continued cuts etc. I think Fire Times comments (below) are very realistic. If our police officers had wanted to be fire fighters they would have chosen that profession, and if firefighters had wanted to carry a hand gun 24/7 and confront violent criminals as a profession, they would have chosen to be an police officer. I feel ashamed that we are placing those that protect us and help provide a safer community for us to live in and raise our families are being forced into this situation. I fear we will ultimately lose good people. services will be spread too thin.....and what then is to become of our great city? It's noon and only 4 comments on a topic of immense importance to our community. Where are all of the anti-tax supporters, with ideas? What solutions do you have?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

RFD, I wonder if the vote would have been different if the city had put forth a dedicated public safety millage, instead of the millage proposals they offered.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Amen. Especially those who were running in the last city council election, who were so insistent that the city was wasting money left and right and that they had all the answers. Where are they?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

The Ypsilanti City Fire Department has been short staffed for decades. Why not contract out our fire service to Ypsilanti Twp.? And, at the same time, Ypsilanti City police have the skill sets to offer police coverage to the Township of Ypsilanti. A win - win type of situation. Public Safety departments have many draw backs. Yes you can still get an engine to a fire in the same amount of time but getting the firefighters there and able to work the fire is another issue. If the police are available, they are very very busy in Ypsilanti, once they arrive at the fire scene they cannot just start fighting the fire. First they have to get out of their specialized police gear, gun belt is easy, getting that bullet resistant vest off and all secured takes a while longer. Then they have to get into their firefighter turnout gear. Then they can think about hooking up to a hydrant, stretching a line to the fire. Ventilating the structure. Search and rescue in the building. Oh, then take care of all that equipment after the fire and be able to respond to medical emergencies, robberies, vehicle crashes, etc. good luck with that!


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Walker said several communities throughout the state have implemented this model and have found success with it. She cited Kalamazoo as an example, which is one of the largest with more than 300 cross-trained public officers. Are you kidding me? Compare Ypsi to this city? Kalamazoo has the man power to cross train to make it a safety department, Ypsilanti does not. If you cross train and then most of the officers who were cross trained will have to respond to the fire and then where does that leave the rest of the city for police protection? Yes there are plenty of other cities that have cross trained officers, and it has worked out for them but we do not have the man power now as it is to protect us from crime. I can see doing it like Pittsfield Township has done it. Make it a safety department but still keep the 2 departments separate. There are openings in the police department that we don't have the money for and it will only cause more problems in the future for all of us.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

I think you raise an excellent point and one that is perhaps most significant in evaluating the suitability of a cross-trained dept. in Ypsi. The facts are that it is a manpower-intensive model. This is directly conflicting with the stated objective, which seems to be to reduce manpower costs while not reducing service any more than it's already been reduced. If there aren't enough people now to safely and adequately perform either function, how is further reducing staffing going to help?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

"That threat, following years of budget trimming, prompted Fire Chief Jon Ichesco to submit his retirement plans in late September." It's not a threat; it's an IDEA. An idea that should be discussed. As should many other ideas still left to consider. Anyone who refuses to even look at ideas objectively gives up their place at the table voluntarily and should just sit down and shut up. The question to be answered in considering a true, cross-trained Public Safety Dept., is whether or not it will actually save any money. Having to *adequately and properly* (key points) train a bunch of cops to be firemen and a some firemen to be cops is, if done as it should be, an expensive proposition. Where is the cost savings there? If the cost savings is simply in reduced staffing numbers, then there are other ways to accomplish that. Anyone who tries to use ridiculous scare tactics, or who tries to drag Proposition 2 into this, isn't worthy of your time or consideration. There are lots of proven ideas and models out there, and no one should be afraid of talking about and weighing them all, OBJECTIVELY.

Tom Todd

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

not going in to save you! or your house with inferior equipment, so yes prop 2 does play into this.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

I hear of a lot of communities consolidating fire and police. I am not sure, why their is always a backlash to this. Yes, people will lose their jobs, but driving by closed ford plant in ypsilanti; how much of an impact will these job losses have on our community? In all these communities, there is never a discussion of "paid on call" firefighters. Why? It has always worked in rural communities; why not ours?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Bogie, the Cliff Notes answer is Time/Availability. What I mean by that is to have a roster of Paid On Call Firefighters is a task due to the ability of a candidate to obtain a Firefighter Certification, a minimum of a EMT-Basic license, minimum HAZMAT certification as well as the ability of a potential candidate to juggle that while usually working their "real" job and maintaining a home life as well. That in itself can be a challenge to find someone who can make all that work without even getting into the subject of call attendance as well.

Tom Todd

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

how about on-call Rambo's oops meant police.

Dog Guy

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

This proposal to consolidate fire, police into one department is an excellent idea. Please include the mayor and council in the cross-training . . . also the assessor, the city clerk, and members of the Historic District Commission. Indeed, Ypsilanti could revive the hue and cry all-citizen militia tradition of yore and out-themepark even Ann Arbor's freezedried-hippie scene. I look forward to visiting this historical re-creation, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Tom Todd

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

@BB Snyders cousin.

Basic Bob

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

@TT, Proposal 2 is the best way to ensure our essential services are eliminated because they can't be maintained. See flocks of private companies moving to Indiana or Ohio. See you in bankruptcy court. The whole state will look like Flint, but at least those public union jobs will be saved. Hope your union friends like to be shot at while they work.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Tom Todd, please detail for us all exactly how Proposal 2 saves "our essential services."

Tom Todd

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

vote yes on 2 save our essential services.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Educational video


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

"So how does this affect me?", you may ask as a resident of a different municipality. Well, if you are a taxpayer of another area that currently sends fire units to Ypsilanti City to assist them on fires you may want to ask. Changing to a PSO (Public Safety Officer) model may work in some areas due to low call volume for EMS, and especially ones that have low structure fire call volume. The problem is Ypsilanti City is not a low structure fire call area. With a change to a PSO model, you will now have Police Officers who have taken a payoff, (approximately $10,000 I'm sure) to obtain a Firefighter certificate and become "Firefighters". Problem is, no cop I have ever known wants to be a Firefighter otherwise they would have chosen that career field, and if you have no money as a governmental entity then there should be no "Financial Carrot" dangling for anyone to become a PSO Offcer. So now the real fun begins. Something catches on fire. Units respond. All of the surrounding municipalities send in their units (draining their areas of fire coverage, and manpower) to "assist" the PSO folks. You as a taxpayer of another area are now constantly "subsidizing" Ypsi City's Fire Service. Why, you may ask? Well, when your municipality calls for mutual aid what will the City bring to the table? 2 real Firefighters, and some cops that got a payoff to get a certification? Sounds quid pro quo, does it not? So we've now taken what Mutual Aid is all about, and managed to twist it into money savings for the politicians and City Managers to tout at their next board meeting. Nice. Hopefully something besides the current plan can be found/done to save and preserve the Ypsi Cty FD. God knows that they deserve it. In the meantime, I will begin to look forward to having Chief Walker fitted for some turnout gear and pulling her weight on the fireground since she is so in favor of the plan. See you interior, Chief!


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

Actually it is different. The difference is now when we move into an area to assist, it is just that = to assist a fellow Fire Department. Very much Apples to Apples. In the future, we'll just be subsidizing. It will then be Apples to Oranges. Oranges who took a financial payout, then took a quick certification course, and will carry some required equipment so that the spin by City Managers and Public Safety Directors can be services haven't changed.

michael Limmer

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

YFD assists the township more often than the other way around. Also, see the article about 1500 Pauline fire yesterday where even YFD had to assist Ann Arbor, along with several other departments. Is the whole area tempting fate when there are two major fires in the area? While it is extremely rare, when it does happen and there is not enough assets to spread around, who will accept the blame that sections of a town went up in smoke and people died?


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

Ypsi sends it's fire teams to other areas all the time as well


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

The facts are a bit less one-sided than you portray. Area departments are already "draining their areas of fire coverage and manpower," as you so dramatically put it, every time they honor existing mutual aid agreements with the city, just as city units leave the city short when they respond to outlying areas. It's no different. Training a police office to be a firefighter is less of a stretch, and therefore often inspires less resistance, than trying to train a firefighter to be a cop. In reality, no *firefighter* wants to be a cop. They are, as you point out, entirely different skill sets, and the type of personality that gravitates toward fire fighting is rarely the type that would willing confront combative, violent people on a daily basis. Why did you leave that part of the equation out? It's perfectly reasonable and understandable. Knee-jerk reactions to ideas don't serve anyone well.