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Rightsizing Police and Fire Facilities
Lessons Learned from Five Cities

Publication No.: WP16033
Date Published: 10/2016
Pages: 74

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Geographic Area Covered: Cities of Philadelphia, PA; Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; Washington, D.C.

Abstract: In the 1960s and 1970s, the City of Philadelphia expanded its portfolio of recreation centers, libraries, police and fire facilities, and other municipal assets in anticipation of a population of 2.5 million by the turn of the century; by the year 2000, Philadelphia had instead lost over 550,000 residents. Despite population growth between 2000 and 2015, the city continues struggle with aging public facilities: assets that were built decades ago that require extensive maintenance in a city that cannot adequately cover the costs. Aging public facilities profoundly influence the City’s ability to budget and program capital improvement funds in strategic ways, and to deliver services to its population. Philadelphia is not the only city in the nation to face this issue. This report describes the lessons learned from interviews with city officials in five cities about their aging police and fire facilities. These lessons will be helpful background information for Philadelphia’s forthcoming Public Safety Facilities Master Plan, which was funded in the City of Philadelphia’s FY 2016 budget, and scheduled to kick off in August 2016.

Key Words: Police Department, Fire Department, public safety, rightsizing, aging infrastructure, police station, firehouse, public facilities, maintenance, capital improvement program, capital programming, co-location, public-private partnership, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), renovations, energy benchmarking, outsourcing, facilities planning, capital projects, capital planning, capital improvements, buildings

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