Billings, Montana – Just like hundreds of police departments across the country, the Billings Police Department looks for ways to lower the response time, especially for urgent calls. Numerous things affect the average response time, but the main issue departments usually face is shortage of personnel.
Since there is no one solution that fits them all, law enforcement departments use different kinds of solution to improve the service they provide to keep residents in those areas safe and secure. When it comes to Billings, the local police department recently announced the Community Service Officer (CSO) Program and the department will now use that program to minor, non-injury crashes in order to lower response times. The information was officially confirmed on Wednesday.
Community Service Officer program underwent training
Training for crash investigation and report writing has been part of the training the Community Service Officer (CSO) Program has conducted and it’s believed that at least these things will help the Billings Police Department lower their response time. With the help and assistance of the CSO program, the Billings police can put priority on cases and 911 calls.
Officer Matt Lennick from the BPD mentioned that accident reports are still handled in the usual way through dispatch. Now, they have more flexibility in assigning these cases, as they can use both regular Patrol Officers and CSOs (Civilian Service Officers).
The introduction of CSOs came about due to a public safety funding increase in 2022. This extra money allowed the hiring of additional officers and kickstarted the civilian CSO program.
The goal behind having CSOs was to give extra help to the on-duty Patrol Officers. Since 2022, CSOs have been part of the team, mainly to manage the growing number of calls to the BPD.
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With their training in crash investigations and report writing, CSOs are now equipped to help the BPD serve the community of Billings more effectively than ever!