In light of recent legislative budget cuts many small communities can no longer financially support a police department, town constable, or city marshal position. Whatever the title these positions require an individual with a significant time and money investment just to attain initial credentialing as a law enforcement officer. After that significant expense is incurred to maintain training standards and equipment needed to do the job.
If contracting for law enforcement services with a county sheriff’s office or nearby larger community is an unattractive and expensive option then the CSO program may be the low cost alternative to provide public safety services at a level that is sustainable for your community tax base.
Approximately 80 hours of individual training goes into the CSO credential and can be updated annually with optional refresher classes. A future on line program is being developed. The CSO credential is the low cost and very flexible alternative when funding a commissioned police force is no longer possible.
The CSO is not a credentialed police officer. The CSO program is flexible enough that a person, retired or young adult, who is well known and respected in the community, can assume the duties and carry out the CSO responsibilities that are detailed by the community’s elected leaders.
Through a trusted business partner we can also manage the CSO for you including general supervision, recurring training, payroll and human resource issues. Small communities in close geographic proximity to each other may consider sharing the cost of a CSO position and the CSO's time.
If you have a safety concern within your small community share it with us for a creative solution. We don't claim to have alll the answers but there is no charge for trying.
WHAT & WHY
Why a (CSO) Community Safety Officer?
What is a (CSO) Community Safety Officer?
The Community Safety Officer is not a commissioned police officer but an authoritative representative of the community. They wear authoritative attire and are the “go too” person when a citizen has a simple law enforcement, city ordinance, or general question about the community. They are also the first responder for a medical crisis or crime in progress when professional help is many miles away. For serious incidents involving urgent intervention the CSO is there to “stabilize and contain” not to resolve. The CSO is the eyes and ears for law enforcement, the fire department, emergency medical services, and the sense of public safety in the community.
Indeed, the person selected as a CSO should live in the small town or village they represent. Selection should be made because the person is respected and known by the majority of the population. The CSO can be male or female, a retired person or a young adult; again, someone respected and trusted in the community. The CSO can be part time or full time. It is strongly recommended the CSO be paid an hourly wage or salary but some do volunteer for the position. The CSO can be assigned regular patrol duties throughout a 24 hour day acting as a crime and fire watch.
They are not Police Officers, Fire Fighters, or EMS professionals but act in a support role when these professionals are needed. The CSO will often times respond to a call for service from a person who trusts them and doesn’t know how to resolve an issue. The CSO can put the citizen in contact with the appropriate support service or even make the call for community member.
The CSO will train to carry defensive devices including the Taser, Pepper Spray and Baton as well as a fire arm. Defensive Pistol training is a part of the core classes and covers about 16 hours of range and class room time.
The CSO will qualify for a Missouri CCW permit to carry a fire arm openly as a part of their uniform or concealed depending on the wishes of the community elected leaders.
Those CSO candidates who successfully meet the high standards of the program will complete the program with a certificate of completion and proficiency. Those who fully complete the program but need remediation in certain areas will complete the program with a certificate of participation until all standards have been met.
The Matthew Group, Inc, the parent company, will end a candidates training if, in our opinion, the candidate exhibits mental, cognitive, or emotional challenges that may be a detriment to the community they will be working in.
An employer back ground check is required before entering the program.