Public Safety and Emergency Management
Public safety and emergency management have always been critical functions of state government, but in the wake of the 9/11 attack, the role of these agencies in the enhanced national security network is even more important.
Departments of public safety are usually run the state's highway patrol or state police and their training facilities. Some departments may also include the state bureau of investigation, crime lab, division of fire safety, commercial carrier inspection and weight load management office, office of narcotics enforcement, or state public safety telecommunications network.
On public safety websites, visitors may:
- Report a crime
- File an accident report
- See lists of sex offenders, fugitives, or missing persons
- Check a criminal records database
- Get information on Internet or computer crime, viruses, or identity theft
- License a handgun
- Get traffic safety tips
- See Amber Alerts for missing children
- Watch training videos on safety issues
- Consult crime statistics
- Learn about state and national homeland security efforts
Some states handle their motor vehicle registrations out of their departments of public safety.
Departments of emergency management assist the state in preparing for and coping with such natural or man-made disasters as floods, fire, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, epidemics, electrical or computer outages, and terrorist attacks.
On emergency management websites, visitors may get information on:
- Current emergency alerts, including weather forecasts
- Preparing families, the elderly, businesses, farms and schools for emergencies
- Disaster relief, including personal assistance funding, temporary housing, and public assistance
- Federally-declared disaster regions in a state, relief application deadlines and assessment forms
- Emergency preparedness plans
- Safe room or shelter initiatives and grants
- Safe cleanup practices
Some emergency management departments also deal with hazardous materials.