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Job Description for a Director of Public Safety

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A director of public safety is a high ranking manager within a government jurisdiction such as a city or county. This individual often oversees and coordinates the services of all agencies that protect the citizens of the jurisdictions including the police department, fire department, emergency medical services and animal control. Typically, directors of public safety report to the mayor, town administrator or other chief officer. While the salary of these professionals is dictated by location, the website Indeed reports a median salary of $54,000.

Municipal Employee

An individual working as a director of public safety is a municipal employee, working for the city, county or other jurisdiction. Many municipalities place restrictions on candidates wishing to apply. For example, some cities require their employees to reside within its boundaries.


The oversight and direction of an annual public safety budget is perhaps the most important duty of this job. Particularly within larger jurisdictions, this budget can be large, and any changes to it can directly affect residents. In addition to preparing and administering the budget, a director of public safety may lobby government officials in order to obtain more funds.

Policies and Procedures

As head of public safety, a director partners with various agency heads such as police commissioner and fire chief to develop and implement procedural policies that are then implemented across the jurisdiction. These policies may include recruitment and hiring procedures and codes of professional conduct.

Departmental Supervision

As head of all emergency services within a jurisdiction, a director of public safety must consistently examine and audit the performance of each agency. When deficiencies are identified, the director typically can implement changes including the termination of employees.

Getting the Job

Requirements for employment vary greatly, based upon location. Applicants must often possess professional experience within a public safe agency such as with a police or fire department, as well as at least a four-year degree within a related field.


KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.

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