The Cedar Falls Police Department provides officers within the department an opportunity to also be firefighters as part of a cross training program making them fire fighters and police officers at the same time. Firefighters have the same opportunity and officers are called Public Safety Officers or PSO's . Police officers receive tier one training, the lowest to qualify as a firefighter and are also approved by one of the full time firefighters in the city.
"We will always have a core of skilled firefighters, the police officers want to help them," Assistant Police Chief Craig Berte said. "What the city is trying to do is use of efficient use of tax dollars and personnel and supplement those firefighters so we can have more people on scene when there is a structure fire."
At a neighborhood association meeting, the tone of some Cedar Falls residents however was different. Darren Yoder emotionally recalled the fire that destroyed his house and family's belongings. Luckily no one was hurt but he remains skeptical about the PSO model, who were on scene when the fire happened.