Sheriff’s Department in Rancho San Diego

During our week two lecture we discuss how there are approximately 90,000 local governments in the United States. This includes city governments, county governments and special district (“single-purpose” governments like a Water District). Most of these governments have a few to hundreds of departments (sub units of the government). That’s a whole lot of governments (and a whole lot of jobs for our graduates who want to pursue careers in government after graduation, whoo hoo!)

For your first writing assignment, you will get acquainted with a local government near where you live or work (i.e. City of El Cajon, Sweetwater Water District etc) or a department of a local government (i.e. City of San Diego Fire Department, City of La Mesa Library, City of National City Police Department, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency Family Resource Center). You will research the city, agency or department using information from its official website (not a random Google search, please) in order to answer the prompts below.

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Then you will physically go to the outside of the administration building representing the city, agency or department that is the focus of your assignment and take a selfie to submit with your assignment. For example, if you choose to research the City of Chula Vista’s Fire Department for the assignment, you would take a photo of yourself in front of one of the City’s 10 Fire Stations OR the department’s headquarters at City Hall. If you chose to research the City of Lemon Grove, you would take a photo of yourself outside of City Hall.

ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS:

To complete the requirements of this assignment, you’ll submit the selfie along with a minimum two page (double-spaced) essay responding to the following prompts:

  • Identification of the local government (or department of that local department) that you have researched for this assignment and its website and why you chose this local government or department;
  • Based on your research, discuss the mission of the local government (or department of that local government), services provided and who is served (i.e. number of residents served by the City government); and
  • Conclude with a brief discussion applying one or more specific concepts from the first three class lectures/reading assignments to what you learned during your research.

And…don’t forgot to include the photo either as a graphic on the assignment or separate attachment.

EXTRA CREDIT:

Feeling adventurous? With additional research and application of course concepts from week two and three, you can earn up to two extra credit points.

Intergovernmental Relations: Identify and describe one or more specific and separate governments that this government or department collaborates with to provide services to the public. For instance, if you were to feature the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, you could discuss how the department provides law enforcement services through a contractual basis to several cities including Lemon Grove, Santee, Imperial Beach, Del Mar etc. If you were featuring the City of La Mesa, you could discuss how the City had joined with the cities of El Cajon and Lemon Grove to form Heartland Fire and Rescue – a joint powers agreement for management/delivery of fire protection service.

Public Private Partnerships: Identity a specific public/private partnership (PPP) that the government agency or department is involved with (i.e. if you analyzed a city government look to see if it contracts for waste management services. If you’re looking at a Fire Department, you’d research if it contracts with a private ambulance company).

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