Beginning March 8, the Salida Police Department will have two full-time civilian officers dedicated to addressing non-emergency calls for service. Their names have not yet been released.
The city says that calls to the department for assistance are growing. In 2020, the police department received 6,747 calls for service, a 25 percent increase from 2019.
In 2021, the department has already received 1,059 calls which is a significant increase over the same period last year.
The existing two Code Enforcement staff positions will be rebranded and reorganized as Community Service officers in hopes of improving the department’s efficiency and service quality. The civilian positions will primarily focus on non-emergency calls including:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspections
- Animal control
- Parking Enforcement
- Property issues
- Found property
- Code enforcement
The newly structured positions are expected to save more than 75 hours of sworn police officer time over the next year. This is a conservative estimate based on the amount of time the department recorded in 2020 while completing VIN inspections and found property reports.
According to the department, the job title and duties of community service officers better align with the department’s goals while providing better service and police coverage to the community.