About the Center for Justice & Safety Finance

One of the most significant challenges for city and county governments is the rising cost of keeping its
residents safe. Not only does that include costs related to fire, police, EMS operations, and criminal justice
systems, but the liability and legal realities of providing these critical services has increasingly become a
serious budgetary issue that can't be ignored.

For many counties, more than 50% of all annual operating expenditures are related to the criminal justice
system including law enforcement, emergency services, judicial functions, jail operations, and other elected/
appointed offices (e.g. District Attorney, Public Defender, and Clerk of Court, etc.). The same can be said for
cities across the country, where at least 50% of all expenditures are related to police, fire, EMS, and other
public safety services.

PFM’s Center for Justice & Safety Finance (CJSF) stands at the intersection of policy, operations, and
finance - building a 21st Century criminal justice and public safety system for cities, counties, and
communities across the country. By tapping into our team’s unparalleled financial expertise, disciplined
management, and ingenuity, we provide tangible and sustainable solutions for the most pressing budgetary
concerns of our time.

CJSF offers solutions to government entities confronting the increasing costs of police, fire, courts, and
jails. The distinct advantage for CJSF clients is that our experts can simultaneously view these issues from
the purview of operational practitioners in both public safety and justice as well as budget and finance.

 

Meet Our Team 

 

Eichenthal, David Headshot

 

 

Serpas

 

Seth Williams

 

David Eichenthal

Managing director of PFM's management and budget consulting practice and executive director of CJSF, David Eichenthal uses his background, knowledge, and first-hand experience in finance, government, academia, and public policy to help state and local governments improve their management and budget performance. Prior to PFM, he spent more than a decade and a half in senior positions in government and the non-profit sector, including as chief financial officer of a mid-size city, multiple senior policy positions with the City of New York and program director for a national organization of criminal prosecutors. He is also a research fellow at the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at NYU School of Law.

 

 

Dr. Ronal Serpas

As a senior public safety executive, Dr. Serpas has led some of the largest, most complex public safety departments in the country, formerly serving as the chief of the Washington State Patrol, chief of police in Nashville, TN, and police superintendent of New Orleans, LA. Nationally and internationally recognized, he is the Professor of Practice for Criminology and Justice at Loyola University; senior advisor of PFM's Center for Justice & Safety Finance; and former vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) where he was recently named Honorary President, a prestigious lifetime appointment.

  

 

 

Seth Williams

Deputy director of CJSF and senior managing consultant with PFM, Seth Williams serves as the day-to-day project manager and analyst for numerous city and county criminal justice and public safety agencies throughout the nation. His work at PFM has helped reduce expenditures, increase efficiencies and outcomes, and redesign portions of criminal justice and public safety systems for a variety of government clients.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Schirmer

A Fellow with CJSF and senior managing consultant with PFM, Ms. Schirmer brings over ten years of experience working in the criminal justice field, with a focus on policy, data analysis, and research. Prior to her work with CJSF, she served as the criminal justice policy advisor to the former mayor of New Orleans and led the City’s progress to reduce its jail population by more than 20 percent.

 

 

Press Releases

New Center Launched to Focus on Local Cost of Criminal Justice and Public Safety