Confluence Retirement

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, the myUSGS Confluence service is targeted for retirement on January 28, 2022. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact myusgs@usgs.gov. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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titleFire Station / EMS Station


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titleThe Guidelines define Fire Stations and EMS Stations as follows:
typesuccess

A building that contains fire‐fighting equipment and personnel or a provider of combined fire‐fighting and rescue services.

  • INDICATORS: A facility that houses a fire engine and from which fire response occurs; can be a station or substation.

INCLUDES: Buildings that contain fire response equipment and serve as a location to which fire personnel report before being dispatched into the community.  May also providecombined emergency medical services operations and/or rescue services.  

DOES NOT INCLUDE: Ambulance stations not part of fire‐fighting services, locations solely for fire equipment storage (i.e., no fire response from that location), fire hall meeting facilities.

What is a Fire Station/EMS Station?

The basic requirement for a Fire Station/EMS Station is that the structure contains a fire engine. It may or may not also house an ambulance. Fire personnel visit the station on a regular basis to keep the equipment clean and shiny and ready to go, and before being dispatched into the community for an emergency. It may only have volunteer responders and not full time personnel on site.


Where can I find authoritative lists of  Fire Stations?

Fire department web pages are the best source of data, but may not specify the locations of stations. Fire Departments in smaller and/or rural communities may have their own Facebook page in place of a website. Page 6 of our July 2017 Newsletter has an infographic on Facebook as an authoritative source.

County and city websites also often have information about fire departments through their emergency management offices.The US Fire Administration has the most complete nationwide list of fire departments, however this data may be dated and not complete. Their list is the result of a voluntary National Fire Department Census wherein during the years 2001 to 2004 fire departments filled out and handed in survey forms. The USFA is "continuously working to encourage more fire departments to participate in the census," however, since the original census now is almost 20 years old, some of the information is out of date. The list can be downloaded for the entire nation or by state. The list is by fire department, so it will tell you how many stations a Fire Department has, but not where they are. There may be some contact information, such as address, phone number, and website.Check out our Authoritative Sources List for more on the types of sources that are acceptable.


How do I name a Fire Station?

Try to find out the official name of the station; it often has the format: <fire-department-name> <station-name>. For example "Denver Fire Department Station 1". Official station names sometimes have either a "-" or a "/" in the station name, and while the Attribute Guidelines say that special characters should be avoided, they can be used if necessary to document an official fire station name.

Check out our Name and Address Formatting Guidelinesguide for more on how to properly name fire stations.

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titleLaw Enforcement


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titleThe Guidelines define Law Enforcement as follows:
typesuccess

A building that houses police stations or sheriffs’ offices.

INCLUDES: Police stations, sheriffs' offices, state troopers or highway patrols operations locations, police stations on University/College campuses, Texas Rangers operations locations.

DOES NOT INCLUDE: Police offices in shopping malls or strip malls, federal law enforcement, park police (other than US Park Police in Washington D.C.), school police, railroad police, postal inspectors, locations with administrative functions only.


What is a Law Enforcement structure? 
Law

enforcement

Enforcement structures consist of the offices of state troopers, county sheriffs, and city

cops

police officers. However, if a county

sheriffs

sheriff's deputy works out of his house in a rural area, we do not include that location as a structure point (i.e., we never capture private residences as structure points).


Where can I find authoritative lists of Law Enforcement structures? 
There are no authoritative lists of Law Enforcement structures.
The closest thing to a national list may be at the USACops website, but it is not clear where this data comes from or how complete it is. There also are lists of police stations at the Homefacts website, but again it is unclear where this data comes from or how complete it is.
The State Data Sources page of this website may have information on lists for your State; in particular, there usually is a State Patrol website which lists the State Patrol troop offices and posts for that State. County and city websites may list law enforcement offices within their boundaries.
When editing Law Enforcement structures, you may occasionally come across a county jail with the symbol of a Law Enforcement structure. If you encounter any of these points, you can either skip or delete them. This is because these are not structures we are actively collecting. Check out this Q&A for more on how to handle county jails.

Sometimes the sheriff’s primary office is housed in the same building as the county jail. If the sheriff’s office is in the same building as the jail and dispatches into the community, then this is a point that we would collect as a Law Enforcement structure. However, if the sheriff’s only purpose in the building is jail security (i.e., it does not dispatch officers into the community), then this is considered part of the county jail and therefore is not a point we are collecting.  

Similarly, be aware of bailiffs. You may come across law enforcement points that are close to (or located at) county courthouses. When reviewing these points, make sure to determine whether officers at these locations dispatch into the greater community or if their primary role is to assist the courts. If that location’s only duty is to assist the courts, then it is considered a bailiff. Since we are not collecting bailiffs at this time, please use the Comments field to document your findings and delete these points.

Our Q&A community includes several entries for Law Enforcement structures, including entries about School Police, County Jails, Community Oriented Police Houses, Constables and Peace Officers, and Park Police.

Where can I find authoritative lists of Law Enforcement structures? 
There are no authoritative lists of Law Enforcement structures.

County and city websites are the best sources for this information and typically have a separate page for law enforcement offices within their boundaries. Law enforcement offices in smaller and/or rural communities may have their own Facebook page in place of a website. Page 6 of our July 2017 Newsletter contains an infographic on properly using Facebook as an authoritative source.

Check out our Authoritative Sources List for more on the types of sources that are acceptable.

Where do I place a Law Enforcement structure?
Most Law Enforcement structures have one building. If this is the case, place the point at the center of the building. If the law enforcement office operates out of the same building as a City Hall / Town Hall and/or Fire Department, space the points out on the building so that they are not overlapping.

For more information on how to identify a Law Enforcement structure, check out the “Aerial Photo Interpretation Part 7: Law Enforcement” article in our September 2018 Newsletter.

How should I name Law Enforcement structures? 
County sheriff's offices should be named like this: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Police departments for smaller cities generally have only one office which should be named like this: Lakewood Police Department; but larger cities may have Precinct or Division offices which would be named like this: Denver Police Department District 1 Station.
Check out our Name and Address Formatting guide for more on how to properly name Law Enforcement structures.


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titlePrison / Correctional Facility


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titleThe Guidelines define Prison / Correctional Facility as follows:
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A building or complex for the confinement of persons convicted of crimes.

  • INDICATORS: medium and maximum security facilities; long-term facilities.

INCLUDES: State or federal prisons, long-term juvenile detention facilities. Jails included only if they have long-term sentences and are a medium or maximum security facility.

DOES NOT INCLUDE: Short‐term holding facilities such as a jail at a police station or court house, sheriff’s department or sheriff’s office, half-way houses, minimum security locations, prison camps or work sites, administrative offices.


What is a Prison/Correctional Facility? 

A Prison/Correctional Facility consists of federal and state prisons and juvenile detention facilities. It is important to note that city and county jails are not included

Where can I find authoritative lists of Prison/Correctional Facilities? 

The authoritative list of Federal prison facilities may be found at the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. Only Institutions, Private Facilities, and Correctional Complexes should be included -- not offices or training centers.

Refer to the State Data Sources pages on this website to find information about data sources for State prisons; in general, each State has a Department of Corrections website which lists private and public prisons in that State.

Where do I place a Prison/Correctional Facility structure point? 

If a prison has a single large building, place the point at the center of the building. If the prison does not have a distinctive single building, then place the point at the center of the prison facility.

If a prison complex has more than one named facility, each with its own separate grounds or building, then place a prison point for each facility. For example, the Florence Federal Correction Complex has three facilities (Florence Federal Correctional Institution, Florence High Security United States Penitentiary, and Florence Administrative Maximum United States Penitentiary), and therefore should have three structure points. It may be difficult to determine from aerial imagery which facility is which, but you may be able to tell from Google Street View™ , from an on-line facility map, or, for federal prisons, by examining the photo of the prison entrance on its webpage and comparing this to the building footprint in the satellite image. If it cannot be determined which facility is which, then place all facility points adjacent to each other near the centroid of the entire facility.

How do I name a Prison/Correctional Facility? 

Use the name of the facility as it appears on the facility website. For Federal prisons, the website uses several formats for names, but use the most commonly-used format where the prison name comes last, for example, United States Penitentiary Florence High.

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