DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY 1965 - 1978
In July 1965, 10 original Public Safety officers were hired and trained to respond to both police and fire calls. The Public Safety officers were trained in both police and fire functions. They attended two weeks of training at Sunnyvale's Department of Public Safety to learn basic fire fighting techniques and advanced first aid. That was followed by officers taking turns attending San Mateo County's Police Academy to fulfill the minimum training requirement for police officers. Much of the Foster City's Public Safety Officers learned from on-the-job training. The officers on patrol would respond to all fire calls. Fire gear was standard equipment in patrol cars. Officers would throw their weapons in the Fire truck, put on their fire protective gear, and grab a hose or assist in rescues and then go back out on patrol.
Eventually in early 1970's Chief Norton, Foster City's second and last Public Safety Director, was hired and so began the gradual split between the two professions. Chief Norton's rationale for the separation revolved around several issues including his desire to improve the reputation of the department and his strong feeling that one person could not be proficient in two very different jobs.
In the Early 1980's the Department of Public Safety was dissolved in favor of separate police and fire departments.
©2014 City of Foster City
City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404