Performing Policy Analysis for Municipal Agencies

Lessons from the New York City-RAND Institute's Fire Project

by Warren Walker

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The New York City-RAND Institute was involved in performing policy analysis for the New York City Fire Department over a period of seven and a half years. During this time many changes were made in the Fire Department's operations based largely on the results of the Institute's analysis. This paper discusses some of the changes, proposes some explanations for the success of the project, and describes how the work led to a similar effort to perform deployment policy studies for emergency service agencies throughout the country under federal sponsorship. The paper concludes with some impressions about what the work has taught us about performing urban policy analysis for operating agencies and transferring technology to municipal government personnel. (Prepared for presentation to the RAND Board of Trustees in Washington, April 10, 1975.)

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