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Apr 28

In the field with SJPD’s Community Service Officers

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 10:47 PM by Communications Office

CSO Kellie Carroll“We’re fostering relationships with residents” is how Community Service Officer Kellie Carroll describes her civilian position in the San José Police Department. 

CSO Jason Weber shared how he gave a home burglary victim his business card, making it easier for her to contact him directly if she thought of anything else after police had left the scene. She reached out to CSO Weber soon after, letting him know that she found a shard of glass in her bedroom by her bedside pillow that could have injured her if she hadn’t been looking. The sharp glass had come from the broken kitchen window that the burglar crawled through to get into her house. The evidence is now being used in the case against the burglary suspect.

Another CSO, Jordan Bravo, is personally responsible for the recovery of 22 stolen vehicles since the program launched in September.
 
“They are performing above expectations,” noted Sgt. Andrew “Skip” Harsany who oversees the Community Service Officer Program. “For the month of December, the CSOs investigated, collected evidence, and documented over 50 percent of all residential burglaries and 40 percent of vehicle thefts.”

Community Service Officer afternoon briefingCSO Carroll is among the 28 community service officers who were deployed into the neighborhoods nearly six months ago as part of their field training. They all attended a seven-week-long academy in which they received instruction in public safety-related topics ranging from evidence collection and accident investigation to report writing and interview techniques. 

CSOs are making an impact in the community through their non-enforcement roles by responding to and investigating lower priority calls such as vandalism, petty theft and grand theft, and missing persons. Their contributions are making it possible for patrol officers to be more available to respond to emergency calls for service and conduct proactive enforcement. 

Sgt. Harsany emphasized, “They are integrating well with patrol and are providing much needed relief to the patrol teams in the field. Equally important is the extremely positive feedback we get from the public.” 

CSO Carroll was an emergency dispatcher for 25 years, 22 with the City, before she took on this opportunity in the field. She still works as a dispatcher when needed. But, as a CSO, she can see first-hand the impact they’re making, from helping drivers get to where they need to be when there’s a detour to helping victims cope with the aftermath of a burglary. 

“Home burglaries are really a psychological crime,” CSO Carroll explained. “Your home is where you go when you feel safe. I’ll let them know it’s okay to cry or be upset about what happened.”

Educating the public is also part of the job.

“We try to inform residents about what they can do to prevent a crime,” CSO Carroll said. “Following a burglary, we’ll canvass the neighborhood and let the neighbors know about the incident while telling them about preventative actions they can take to reduce the chance of their home being burglarized next.” 

CSOs are assigned to the entire city, with seven CSOs assigned to work in all four divisions: the Central, Foothill, Southern and Western.

Sgt. Harsany noted, “CSOs are making a difference in the lives of the residents they serve, making them feel valued and well cared for.”

If you’d like to be a part of the Community Service Officer ranks, the Police Department will begin another round of hiring within the next few months. For the latest updates, visit the San José Police Department website.

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