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Public Service Recognition Week: Public Safety

The second day of Public Service Recognition Week is dedicated to our Public Safety Department. The department is composed of four divisions, Fire, Patrol, Special Services, and Communications.  It is overseen by Director of Public Safety Chief Bob Sage. Unlike many other communities, most Public Safety Officers in Augusta perform both police and fire duties on a rotating basis.

Public Safety Group Pic

Read the Public Safety Department’s mission statement below.

“The Augusta Department of Public Safety is committed to the basic mission of order maintenance, crime control, fire suppression, and fear reduction by structuring our service delivery in a way that will reinforce the strengths of the City of Augusta and Fire District #2. The Department of Public Safety will build partnerships with the community it serves and with other stakeholders in order to identify the best way to solve problems. Every action by members of the department will reflect the importance of protecting the constitutional rights and personal freedoms of the people we serve.”

Fire Training

The Fire Division is responsible for fire protection for 144 square miles of Southern Butler County, serving the City of Augusta as well Butler County Fire District #2, a rural/county district.  It is staffed by 6 Public Safety Officers at a time and overseen by Major Ray Marbut.  The Fire Division responds to approximately 400 alarms per year and provide rescue services in addition to fire protection.  Fire Safety Officers also perform fire inspections, conduct fire prevention and education activities, and investigate the causes of fires. 

Along with the fulltime staff, the Fire Division receives invaluable help from about 30 volunteer firefights, who supplement the force in emergency cases. The volunteers participate in monthly training along with the fulltime staff.

Learn more about the Fire Division.

Patrol Car

The Patrol Division is the component of Public Safety most frequently in contact with the public.  The division is tasked with enforcing the Augusta Municipal Code, enforcing traffic laws, responding to calls for assistance from the public, and handling medical calls. Our patrol officers handle most cases from beginning to end, conducting the response, investigation, preparation for prosecution, and providing testimony.  The Patrol Division handles approximately 2,500 cases per year and issue approximately 3,000 citations for violations of ordinances and traffic laws.

Learn more about the Patrol Division.

Safety Logan Ward Birthday Drive By

The Special Services division is headed by Captain Bruce Relph.  The division consists of a variety of teams services. Criminal Investigations investigate major crimes and assist patrol officers with minor offenses when needed; they also frequently work with other agencies on investigations.  The Critical Incident Negotiation Team gets involved in special cases where negotiating skills are required to diffuse a situation.  The Community Relations Unit handles all community engagement activities, including education programs and events meant to foster relationships between residents and police. School Resource Officer Matt Meckel is part of this unit.  The Special Services Division also includes services related to information technology and crime analysis and a Special Emergency Response Team.

Learn more about the Special Services Division.

Public Safety Social Distancing

Lastly, the Communications Division of Public Safety consists of four dispatchers and a dispatch supervisor. They are responsible for 9-1-1 services, non-emergency phone lines, and the dispatching of police and fire units.  Our dispatchers are tasked with talking callers through emergency situations, sometimes dealing with high tensions and emotions. They also answer questions from the public about the Department and direct them to the right person if they need special assistance.  The Communications Division also provides supplementary services of selling fishing, boating, and burn permits.

Learn more about the Communications Division.

If you know someone who works for the Public Safety Department, let them know you appreciate what they do this week! We will post a link to this article on Facebook - we encourage you to show your appreciation in the comments of that post.