City to add community service officer
Clintonville position will be part-time, seasonal
By Bert Lehman
A part-time, seasonal community service officer will be added to the Clintonville Police Department.
The city council approved the addition a at its Nov. 12 meeting.
Police Chief Craig Freitag told the council that the community service officer would be a new position.
“It’s something that we need,” Freitag said.
Freitag said the city has a lot of residences that have ordinance violations and need to be cleaned up. This includes yards with long grass, and junk vehicles and other junk in yards.
He said he noticed when he was named police chief earlier this year, the department did not enforce violations of property ordinances.
“We made some progress this year, just to start,” Freitag said. “I looked at the budget and I was able to hopefully create this position without adding to the budget.”
To fit the community service officer position into the police department’s 2020 budget, Freitag said he would use funds that had been designated for part-time officers.
“It is a non-sworn position, so they don’t make arrests,” he said.
Freitag added that a lot of communities have community service officers. He said Shawano has three community service officers.
Duties of a community service officer in Clintonville would also include directing traffic at special events and helping the public with vehicle lockouts.
“It kind of frees up the officers so they can be doing law enforcement type things,” Freitag said.
He said the community service officer would be filled from April through September for the first year to gauge the effectiveness and benefits of the new position. The community service officer would work 24 hours per week during that time.
“I think it would be very good for the city and the police department,” Freitag said.
Currently, Clintonville’s Public Works director handles citing residences for long grass, but Clintonville police started working with that also. This takes the officers away from patrolling city streets.
Ald. Brandon Braden said the position seems like it would be a good stepping stone position for someone who is still taking courses to become a law enforcement officer.
“Typically, that’s what it’s geared toward, somebody who is in college for law enforcement,” Freitag said. “Obviously, anybody can apply for it, but we encourage that they’re involved in a criminal justice program. The hope would be that this is a successful program, and the person in that position does a very nice job, and the next step is potentially we have an opening, we hire that person as a part-time patrol officer because we are always looking for part-time patrol officers.”
He added that there is a shortage of part-time patrol officers at many police departments.
Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs asked Freitag why he decided the community service officer would be part-time and only seasonal.
“Because that’s our busy time of the year and that’s when most of our ordinance violations are, in the summertime,” Freitag responded.
The city council unanimously approved the addition of a community service officer.