The leaders of the Department of Public Safety and Transportation say no decision has been finalized on moving the D.O.T.’s motor vehicle enforcement officers under the management of public safety. This morning a spokesman with the Iowa State Patrol said that plan was moving forward. (story)
This afternoon, the commissioners of both departments seemed to contradict that statement in a conference call with Radio Iowa. D.O.T. commissioner, Paul Trombino said they’ve so far only formed a joint committee to explore sharing between departments. Trombino says they want to know if there are ways to be better use dollars and resources more efficiently by integrating communications facilities and other things they do.
“We believe the answer to that is yes,” Trombino said. He says they want to “maximize the benefit on the system.” The issued raised concerns among lawmakers who said they had not been consulted on the motor vehicle division switch. Trombino says they talked to the governor about possible changes and simply announced that to employees to let them know what is going on, and to hear their ideas or concerns.
He says they need the people that work in their respective agencies to help work through things “and at the right time we’re gonna move those forward.” Trombino says the governor and legislators have a role in the decisions too, and that’s what they have been trying to outline to staff.
Public Safety Commissioner Larry Noble, says the motor vehicle enforcement divisions seems like one that could work well in public safety, but they need to find out if there are drawbacks to the move too. Noble says that’s why they wanted to have this committee so that they can ask questions within their groups so they can find the answers to the questions with the “ultimate goal to server the citizens of Iowa better.” The State Patrol spokesman said there process would take two to six months, but Trombino says they have not set a timeline for making any decisions on integrating services between the two departments.
Trombino says they’re at the point where we really need to start pulling their respective agencies together and really talking about finding solutions as they think there are some good things they can do in integrating operations. “Emergency management is a perfect example of that, that I really think will help us long term,” Trombino says, “much less, law enforcement activities, lets really look at all those and say ‘are we really best managing those.'”
Noble says they need to determine a way to make any changes so they end up being an improvement. “That’s exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing, because they do seem like natural fits, lets explore this and see how we can work better together and more efficiently,” Noble says.
Noble and Trombino both selected by governor Branstad to take over their departments after the governor took office in January.