When James Small took command of the Palmyra police department in 2015, the Wisconsin village’s public safety agencies were in bad shape. High turnover and the absence of a consistent vision for police, fire, and emergency medical services contributed to poor response times and a lack of public trust. The small town of about 1,800 residents had an annual property crime rate of approximately 44 crimes per 1,000 residents––a high rate for a town of its size. The village also generated a substantial amount of revenue from ticket fines.
Small oversaw the implementation of an innovative public safety program that combined