Tucked in the 2012 budget of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department is a line item for the community service officer program. The program began its life with grant funding, but is now being paid for through taxpayer generated funding. Officer Steve South, who has been the driving force behind the concept of volunteer officers meeting citizens needs in the community, says the program has evolved over the years. He notes that there is now a supervisory level in place & the focus of the CSO’s is changing. Officer South cites one example…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/N1991.mp3|titles=SBPD Officer South]
The CSO program is also functioning as a pipeline to regular law enforcement positions. South says Molly Thorn was elevated from her community service officer position to sworn officer status in Sturgeon Bay & another CSO was accepted by the State Patrol Academy…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/N1992.mp3|titles=SBPD Officer South]
Officer South says having a trainee with local experience makes a big difference when the individual is hired as a Sturgeon Bay police officer. He says that person is also more likely to spend their career with local law enforcement.