Public Safety, Core Services, and Fiscal Excellence

Elected official attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fire station.

The City of San Marcos delivers quality government services and improve community safety in a fiscally responsible manner with a professional workforce.

Outcome Statement: Collaborate to prioritize and enhance public safety services while building resiliency and trust within our community.

I. Adequately staff public safety departments to address community safety. 

  • Extended job offers to two Police recruits on September 15, 2023. Four (4) new lateral-entry hires (Police) began the last week of October 2023. Crime Analyst position and two additional Police Service Specialists will be onboarded November 2023. With the additional five Police positions approved on October 1, 2023, we now have 13 vacancies. 
  • We posted our Lateral Entry application opportunity on October 6, 2023 and plan to administer an entrance exam to both certified and non-certified candidates in January 2024.
  • The Police Departments has 21 tentative new hires in the training process, with completion dates between December 2023-August 2024.

II. Complete construction and open Fire Station 6 and Phase I of the Fire Training Facility.

  • Continuing work with the General Contractor and Architect to address some outstanding items and to complete the punch list for Fire Station 6.
  • Construction on Phase I of the Fire Training Facility is ongoing and we anticipate completion late 2023.

III. Optimize the use of technology to improve community safety.

  • Downtown security cameras are now live and offering video feed.
  • Purchased an advanced visual analysis software tool that supports complex crime analytics (multiple suspects, locations, networks, etc.)
  • Purchased covert and overt pole cameras to help combat violent crimes in specific neighborhoods.
  • Purchased real-time intelligence "ecosystem" to extract live video feed and send it to Police, from hotels, convenience stores, registered homes, etc.
  • Finalized a contract for implementation of the Compliance Engine service, authorized by City Council as part of the adoption of the 2021 International Fire Code. This software is a force-multiplier for our Fire Prevention Division. It tracks when commercial occupancies need to have their sprinkler systems, alarm systems, and fire extinguishers inspected. 

    Using Capital Outlay funding we have purchased and received a new fire pump training simulator and placed an order for a flashover training simulator.

  • Finalized a contract to begin exporting data from our records management and computer aided dispatch systems and will utilize data analytics and artificial intelligence to produce dashboards and performance metric reports for the Fire Department.

IV. Expand programs and partnerships that engage the community and strengthen community trust, including employing strategies for reaching diverse populations.

  • The Police Department’s Behavioral Advisory Team received $185,000 in seed money to offset operational costs and to cover some soft costs associated with the creation of a stabilization center.
  • Hosted Public Safety Trunk or Treat on October 31 as a community event. 
  • City Council authorized purchase on November 6 of BolaWraps, a restraint device that can detain combative people without injury or the use of higher levels of force.
  • Hosted (and preparing to host another) UniverCity class of 18 participants from March-May 2023 where graduates attended eight classes highlighting city departments. 

V. Increase all-hazards and disaster preparedness, response and recovery through coordination and local partnerships and intergovernmental cooperation.

  • The Office of Emergency Management continues to finalize the Hazard Mitigation Plan to bring forward for Council consideration. 
  • As part of September’s National Preparedness month, a public outreach campaign was completed to include communication information, how to build a kit, STEAR sign up, and how to create a plan for individuals and their family. This information was shared with staff and reiterated on social media through communications each week. 
  • Continuity planning is taking place with local stakeholders to increase future sheltering coordination in our community. Two public information and FEMA Crowd Management Special Event courses will be conducted by NCS4 and is open to staff and public stakeholders throughout the state to learn how to create safe well-organized events for our community.
  • Distributed flyers on natural disaster education.