Revenue Ideas For Public Safety Training Centers, Part 1

Given the realities of funding the operation of a full-service public safety training center, can be challenging. Interact Business Group has identified several examples of how police or fire training center managers can become “entrepreneurial” in their approach to funding their training center. In case you missed them, here are the links to the first two articles:

Although current revenue models may be working well for traditional college credit and degree programs geared toward an academic student population, those strategies might not be sufficient to support the additional funding necessary to operate a facility that caters to an entirely different audience such as policeman, firefighters or volunteers. For example, many public safety agencies often prefer to conduct their training very early in the morning, late at night, or on weekends.

Revenue Generating Examples

Following are several examples of ways to generate revenue or reduce operating costs at a public safety training center.

  1. Offer a wide range of basic courses geared toward meeting the specific needs of the region and that match your training centers unique facilities, perhaps large classrooms or a large open drill ground. For example Leadership Classes such as:
      1. Strategies & Tactics
      2. Health & Safety Officer
      3. Training Officer Seminars
      4. Large scale events (many participates) gatherings. Such as 5K races, or other community events.
  2. Consider renting your facility to agencies that may have complementary training curriculums. For example you may currently be holding hazardous materials training and trench rescue. Private companies or government agencies may have similar training needs. Think: high raise construction, building inspection, truck fleets with  drivers training needs.
    1. Utility company’s
    2. Construction company’s
    3. Hospitals
    4. Trucking fleets
  3. Form a partnership with a state or national organization such as the Leadership Program from the International Chiefs of Police (IACP) or the Company Officers program from the International Fire Chiefs (IFC). Typically, these are one-day seminars geared towards leadership. In most cases the classes may be offered for free however a small “facility use fee” say $20 to $30 per attendee would be reasonable.
  4. Offer classes that stress training of a particular skill or “how to” classes to operate equipment. Students may attend the class at no charge however the class may be sponsored by the vendor whose equipment is being used or demonstrated. Vendors may sponsor a breakfast, lunch, or afternoon break food to reduce costs of the event.
  5. Provid full food services on site for a fee. This added benefit to attendees is quite helpful for attracting participants; they appreciate the convenience of being able to eat at the facility rather than having to go off site for their meals.
  6. If you have a regional or county training center consider different levels of fee structure. For example, establish different rates (training course and facility rental) for in-county and out-of-county agencies, or another fee structure for private industry

These are but a few ways police and fire training center managers have found ways to generate revenue for their facilities.

Any Other Ideas That Are Working For You, Let Us Know

Do you have any examples? Please share what you are doing with others in the Leave A Reply box below.   Complete This Box to get updates about Public Safety Training  Center Management, Funding and Operations.

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About Bill Booth

Authority on Strategic Business Planning For Public Safety, Police and Fire Training Centers. President of the Interact Business Group and Managing Editor at
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  • Great ideas.

    In my experience of looking for locations to teach face to face classes I have been turned down by many departments because they have no mechanism to accept revenue (payment for facility rental) and or they have a formal or informal policy against using a public building to host a for profit training program (for example they only host training programs of non-profits or community service organizations).

    • BillBooth

      I think the tide is changing. I agree in the past it may have been considered not appropriate to charge for use of public facilities but I see a change in thinking were it is being considered reasonable to at minimum to cover experiences. Accepting and depositing money is another issue were I have found in many cases the city has no vehicle for taking in cash. In our work as strategic business planners we starting to create “Training Center Foundations” that operate independent of the city budget and accounting infrastructure and are able to collect money. Another way to get the revenue producing events moving is to contact the City Manager directly and tell them you are trying generate revenue to off-set operational expenses. They always have an open ear to this type of conversation. Anything to generate cash, they can cut through the red tape.

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