I am hearing that the county is working on a staffing plan for public safety - what does that mean?
When the Board adopted the FY 2014 budget they directed that, as another step in the expansion of our multi-year planning, staff return to them with a 5-year analysis of staffing requirements for all Public Safety departments. This review focuses on five overarching trends that Fairfax County public safety agencies identified as impacting their staffing and personnel resources now and in the future.
The identified trends are urbanization, population/demographics, technology, mandates/standards, and natural and man-made threats. In most cases the staffing increases that are identified to begin in FY 2016, although in the case of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the need was so compelling that we have begun earlier.
For example, I have recommended an increase of $0.54 million and 3 new Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney positions due to significant workload-related issues. Recent changes in the law, increased preparation time for cases and time spent in trial, requirements for written responses to all motions made by the Defendant in Circuit Court, and the increased number of traffic courtrooms have all impacted the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
In addition, there have been substantial increases in key Police enforcement priorities such as DWI arrests and these cases have become much more complex through legislation and case law. As an example of the shortage in staffing, the ratio of attorneys per citizen for the four largest court systems in the state are 1 per 5,534 in Richmond, 1 per 6,643 in Norfolk, 1 per 12,082 in Virginia Beach, and 1 per 44,744 in Fairfax.
The staffing plan is available at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy16-fy20-public-safety-staffing-plan.pdf . The Board will receive a presentation on the plan at its Budget Committee meeting on April 1, 2014.