Civilians could soon respond to some police calls in Calif. city

The team members will not be armed or drive in a police vehicle, but they will be trained in evidence documentation and filing of police reports


By Amanda Spence

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Civilians could soon be responding to lower-level crime calls instead of law enforcement officers, an idea posed by the Long Beach Police Department almost two years ago.

The new community service assistant program includes the creation of 16 civilian jobs at the police department, the Long Beach Post reported. The team members will not be armed or drive in a police vehicle, but they will be trained in evidence documentation and filing of police reports.

Photo/Long Beach Police Department Facebook

Members of the team will be paid $22 an hour and they will usually work daytime shifts – the latest of which is expected to last until 10 p.m. The new recruits will undergo training and complete a three-month ridealong program with a FTO.

LBPD Lt. Eric Matusak explained that there’s 36 types of calls that the new team could handle, such as burglaries where police reports are necessary or graffiti that will need to be documented.

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“Basically, they’d go out there, take some pictures and put some information in to have the city’s contractor go out and remove the tagging,” Matusak said.

However, the new positions, along with the full list of potential calls the team will respond to and handle for the department, have not yet been approved. The Civil Service Commission and city council will have to approve the program before any hiring can take place to fill the spots, but Matusak said the department expects that to occur soon.

Matusak also said the team members will allow officers to do more proactive police work instead of being concerned about going from each call to fill out paperwork or file a report.

“When we have these folks on board, that’s all they’re going to be doing,” Matusak added.

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