URBANA, Illinois – The University of Illinois Police Department soon will begin deploying unarmed community service officers to non-emergency incidents in the campus area, and the department is hiring right now.
Four community service officers will be available to respond to less serious calls for service. That should free up sworn officers to do more proactive crime prevention work and help with response times to more serious offenses and crimes in progress.
“CSOs will be a great complement to our existing police staffing and enhance our overall service to the campus community,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and University Police Chief Alice Cary. “We want to concentrate our sworn officers’ time on critical safety issues, and CSOs are a creative alternative to refocus some of those resources.”
Community service officers are not police officers, and they are not armed. They would not replace police officers on emergency calls or crimes in progress. However, they would be available to speak with community members who want to report things like minor theft, lost property, vandalism, lockouts and other quality of life issues.
The department is seeking candidates who are enthusiastic about serving the community and helping to solve safety issues or other problems. If interested and qualified, successful community service officers would have the opportunity to transfer into police officer positions after gaining experience in a CSO role.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get early experience in a law enforcement setting, or just for people excited about helping their fellow community members,” Cary said. “We are excited about this new initiative and the chance to bolster our service throughout the Campustown area.”