At a recent CPD event I attended, Commissioner Haas noted that the face of Cambridge policing changed the moment the first bomb went off at the Boston Marathon. Subsequent events in Cambridge, the ongoing discussion of surveillance cameras and CPD vehicle mounted license plate readers and previous events ranging from Superstorm Sandy to the Newtown School shootings to the major blizzards of this past winter and the MIT shooter hoax of this past spring have underscored, for me, the idea that public safety is a rapidly changing concept. From my perspective, public safety most visibly includes policing but it also covers snow clearance, disaster preparation and response, school safety, the ongoing threat of pandemics and more and I am hoping to get a better idea of what our City’s public safety staff, including the Health Alliance and the Red Cross, think the future of their professions look like and what the general public should expect from the City and associated agencies in these areas.
I would be happy to meet with people as is convenient to them to learn what they think, for attribution or not (not everyone wants their critiques of our public safety efforts to be associated with them).
My hope is to get a better idea of what our professionals are thinking and then I’d like to continue this discussion with the more general public. I am certain public safety changes are coming, and that many are already here, and I’d like us all to at least understand what they are and, as best we can, what they mean. And if we, as a community, don’t like some of these changes or would rather have efforts focused elsewhere, we should make that clear as well. People’s comfort levels with everything from race relations to technological advancements to going out in a snowstorm is not a one-size-fits-all thing and City efforts may have to be tailored accordingly.
Public input, I think, can only help the professionals make better resource allocation, training, staffing and other decisions.