Magazine article Public Management

Saving Money without Sacrificing Service Quality: Complimentary Urban Institute Reports Detail Proven Strategies

Magazine article Public Management

Saving Money without Sacrificing Service Quality: Complimentary Urban Institute Reports Detail Proven Strategies

Article excerpt

The Urban Institute (UI) began a project in 2012 to identify approaches used by local governments to save costs with minimum adverse impacts on quality of services, if not improving them. Local governments are under significant budget pressures likely to continue for at least several years.

While much networking occurs to find good ideas, governments might not have the time and resources to record their best ideas or adequately research and evaluate cost-saving approaches of others.

Three reports have been released by UI examining how local governments can cuts costs without sacrificing service quality.

Opportunities for Police Cost Savings Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms (available at www.urban.org/publications/412729. html) examines ways to reduce the false alarms from security systems that waste many officer-years to respond and investigate. Seattle, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Montgomery County, Maryland, increased vetting of alarms by alarm companies before they call police. The communities also use graduated fines for properties that are the worst offenders and instigated various measures to improve reliability of security systems. The three communities reduced police false alarms by a dramatic 65 to 95 percent, at no net cost to the taxpayers, and without adding delays to responses or affecting clearance rates.

Opportunities for Police Cost Savings Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing Fuel Consumption (www. …

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