In response to misinformation, primarily promoted through social media, the City of Cedar Falls would like to issue this statement regarding the Cedar Falls Public Safety Program:
The City of Cedar Falls will always have a dedicated police department and a dedicated fire department. There are public safety officers who are cross-trained to do both duties; however, they are assigned to either fire or police. Since they are cross-trained, they can help if needed in other areas but their primary job does not change. A public safety officer assigned to fire does not leave the station to attend a police call as the Public Safety Model operates with separate police and fire responders. Similarly, the detectives working the Cedar Falls Police Investigative Unit or an officer on the patrol shift will not leave a crime scene to attend a fire call. Many of these individuals are cross-trained for both fire and police duties, however, so they can provide additional help in the event of emergencies during call-backs.
The Cedar Falls Fire Division has 6 to 8 firefighters working 24 hours shifts. In the event of a fire emergency, they can also be supplemented by cross-trained public safety officers who can also respond immediately to the scene. This increased the number of firefighters by 4-10. Due to this, many recent incidents have had 12-14 responders instead of 6-8, as in past years. Additionally, the public safety model has increased the number of police on patrol by two per shift. Just as firefighters are often cross-trained to be paramedics, the city believes that allowing for their police and fire personnel to acquire these additional skills and training is beneficial for the community.