When people think of management consulting, they tend to imagine high-profile commercial clients seeking advisory services for large-scale transactions, mergers & acquisitions, project management, finance & accounting, and more. They tend not to imagine entities like the public safety organizations we all benefit from as needing management consulting. However, this is an oversight. Public safety entities like fire response teams, EMS services, hospitals, and more all require many of the same things as commercial institutions in order to succeed: financial soundness, operational excellence, effective management & administration, and so on. Further, public safety organizations have an imperative to continuously improve their performance and to stay on top of changing conditions, including legal regulations. In all these dimensions, public safety consulting firms have an important role to play.
In this article, we list the top 10 public safety consulting firms and provide an overview of each. If you’re interested in applying your consulting skills in a way that helps create concrete benefits for public safety and well-being, consider whether applying to one of these firms might be the right move for you.
Top Public Safety Consulting Firms List
KPMG has been one of the biggest names in consulting for over a century, and serving public sector clients has been a central part of the firm’s work throughout that history. For public safety clients, KPMG focuses on improving efficiency, accountability, and adaptivity to meeting new rising challenges, including terrorism and cybercrime. KPMG has also done extensive work in helping federal, state, and local governments respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm also helps public safety organizations improve operational effectiveness, regulatory compliance, and financial health through advisory services, auditing services, and tax services.
Under their Public Safety & Justice department, Deloitte works to improve the well-being of individual citizens as well as organizations and institutions in the face of contemporary threats. One area Deloitte has focused on in particular is helping police departments respond to new technological challenges. The firm has also helped many EMS departments work in closer collaboration with other public safety organizations.
As one of the biggest consulting firms in the world, BCG works with public sector clients all over the globe to improve their operations and enhance public safety, completing over 1,000 projects in just the last five years. BCG specializes in helping public sector institutions with digital transformation, so they can remain current with newly arising challenges to public safety. Further, BCG has done extensive work to help such institutions secure buy-in from all stakeholders through their “transformation in the public interest” framework, which emphasizes the tenets of progress, process, transparency, and people.
While not as well known as some of the biggest names on this list, PA Consulting—a UK-based firm—has established an excellent track record in helping public safety institutions respond to a variety of contemporary threats, including climate change, global political instability, and economic hardship. PA Consulting emphasizes a people-first approach, while helping public safety organizations improve and retain their valuable human capital. The firm has worked to help government agencies and public safety orgs improve the efficacy of their workforce, deliver more value for less costs, and successfully migrate their operations to the digital realm for greater operational success.
BearingPoint is another Europe-based firm with an excellent record of helping governments and public service institutions improve their operations to deliver superior results with greater efficiency, adaptivity, and resilience. The firm has focused on improving employee experiences, harnessing the power of digital operations and automation to ensure more successful service delivery, and promoting greater cooperation between different agencies.
One of the foremost consulting firms in the world, McKinsey & Company does extensive work in the realm of public safety. McKinsey has partnered with over 100 countries and almost 400 government agencies worldwide to improve operations and deliver superior benefits to citizens. In the realm of public safety, McKinsey offers four primary services to help institutions like police departments and justice systems: Strategic planning, Organization, Operational Transformation, and Process Transformation.
Another of the Big 3 consulting firms, Bain works with a variety of clients in the public safety space, including government and state-owned institutions, as well as public safety orgs that are situated at the intersection of public and private ownership. Bain focuses on helping these organizations meet the contemporary challenges of operation through change management, cost and service-quality improvements, organizational design, and IT infrastructure.
Though not quite as well known as, for instance, the Big 3 firms, dss+ has locations all over the world and offers a full suite of consulting services to clients in virtually every major industry. The firm brings a mindset of safety and stakeholder well-being to all their work, focusing on helping “to save lives and create a sustainable future.” The firm’s focus on sustainability and other global challenges—alongside their attendant risk-mindset—sets them apart.
The Nous Group is a forward-thinking consulting firm operating primarily in the UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. Their Justice & Emergency Management division helps clients deal with the combined threats of crime, disaster, and emergencies while navigating the challenges and complexities of operating in the modern world. Nous helps clients improve service delivery through collaboration among stakeholders and an emphasis on resilience driven by mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
With locations on six continents, Sia Partners combines innovation with an emphasis on Corporate Responsibility that helps clients improve their contributions to the world through consideration of such issues as climate change, social responsibility, and ethics & regulatory compliance. The firm specializes in leveraging digital transformation alongside CSR to help public institutions improve the lives of citizens.
While consulting for public safety organizations like police departments and EMS services may not be as high-profile as, for instance, working with high-end consumer tech clients, there is no better way to ensure the work you do offers concrete benefits for the lived experience of real people. Further, with the complex array of threats facing citizens all over the world, this work compels innovative thinking to improve public safety organizations’ ability to offer effective services. If you’re interested in a high-impact consulting career that involves protecting real people from meaningful challenges, consider applying to one of the firms listed above.