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Local, state and national affiliations contribute to public safety Jim Sandoval | Fri, Mar 07 2014 12:00 PM

From public safety realignment to wildfires and active shooter response to emergency operations, Chula Vista police and fire chiefs are leaders in the public safety field. And, they both are proud to serve with the professional men and women in their departments who every day put their lives on the line to keep Chula Vista residents safe.

In addition to their day-to-day duties, Police Chief David Bejarano and Fire Chief Dave Hanneman serve on local, state, and national committees, contribute hours of training, and are called on by agencies, organizations and their peers to contribute their expertise to the latest in public safety efforts.

Chief Bejarano is on the SANDAG Public Safety Committee which works to establish countywide public safety policy. And, Bejarano currently serves as president of the San Diego County Chiefs/Sheriff’s Association (SDCCSA), where he has led the organization through the most significant change in law enforcement: Public Safety Realignment which has returned nonviolent offenders to their home jurisdictions to serve their probation and/or parole terms. As president of SDCCSA, Bejarano has had a lead role in establishing law enforcement protocols; such as Active Shooter Response and Human Trafficking.

Chief Bejarano also contributes his expertise at the state level. As First Vice President of the California Police Chief’s Association, he has met with Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris on Public Safety Realignment and advocating for front line funding to ensure success of the initiative. These association affiliations provide positive exposure for the city and department at the local and state level.

At the national level, a key success in the police department has been receiving national Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants to fund six officers for patrol as part of the City’s Domestic Violence Reduction project.

Fire Chief Hanneman has been President of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association for the last two years and has been on the Board since 2009. He, too, is a member of the SANDAG Public Safety Committee, representing all of the Fire Departments and EMS Services of the County.

Chief Hanneman’s participation on local committees allows for his direct input and direction on how Urban Areas Security Initiative grant dollars are distributed to the County. As President of the County Fire Chiefs he represents all the Chiefs in meetings with the Board of Supervisors and any business that may affect the Fire Service. As a result, the Chief can make sure Chula Vista residents are considered when countywide decisions are made.

At the national level Chief Hanneman is involved with organizations which allows for input from the Chula Vista department in the development of national standards. For example, Hanneman participated on the International Code Council in 2008 when the council voted to make residential sprinklers mandatory in the Fire and Building Codes. This resulted in California adopting the code in 2009 and now every newly constructed residence is required to have sprinklers. This requirement has saved thousands of lives.

Chiefs Bejarano and Hanneman also are implementing new strategies on staffing and deployment which are the focus of discussions at the national level. Chula Vista has led the way with implementing “proactive time” in the police department and preparing for four-person crews in the fire department. These strategies ensure our communities are safe, while providing an efficient staffing model that maximizes resources.

Our officers and firefighters give their all when responding to emergencies and keeping the public safe. We also benefit from the Chiefs’ work on the policy frontlines that keeps our City at the forefront of public safety best practices, grant funding, and decision-making.

Sandoval is the Chula Vista City Manager.

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