Cops seek multi-faceted employee for new dual-purpose position

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Sweet Home Police Department has started the hiring process for a new civilian property custodian and community services specialist to handle evidence and property as well as coordinating the city’s new peer court program and other community service efforts.

The position replaces a sergeant’s position, which was vacated by George Dominy last summer when he took a teaching position at the state Police Academy.

The department is looking for someone with meticulous attention to detail for the evidence and property function, which accounts for half of the position’s time, Police Chief Bob Burford said. Applicants should be “extremely detail-oriented.”

At the same time, the rest of the job requires self-direction and allows a lot of latitude, Burford said, as the new employee will assist Det. Cyndi Pichardo with Neighborhood Watch programs, work with crime victims and coordinate the Peer Court program.

“On the Peer Court side of it, it still needs to be someone of those same talents, record keeping, scheduling,” he said, yet someone who can be empathetic to crime victims.

The community services functions will provide new services to Sweet Home residents, Burford said. The employee will be someone who can get back to crime victims, something that can be difficult for officers, who are tied up on calls and working different shifts.

Peer Court is perhaps the most significant of the new services, the chief said. It will replace the Linn County Juvenile Department program eliminated in budget cuts this year.

“I’m convinced that if we don’t step up, a lot of these young people that find themselves in trouble for the first time are not going to see any consequences for their misdeeds,” Burford said.

“I’m afraid, if there are not some consequences, they’re going to be tempted to go out and do something else. If we don’t step up, we’re going to regret it in the future.”

As a community services specialist, the employee also will conduct home security surveys upon request of local residents, including inspection of locks, window barriers, alarms, lighting and other features to evaluate needs and recommend action to strengthen security; lend etching tools to individuals to inscribe identifying information personal and house-hold articles; address community groups on crime prevention and security methods; compile and analyze data from patrol unit reports to identify crime patterns and recommend changes in police patrols to prevent further crime.

The position demands two different kinds of mindsets, Burford said, so if the department isn’t able to find someone who can fulfill all of the duties, it may divide the job into two part-time positions.

“We wanted to try to do it as a full-time position,” Burford said, that way it provides benefits and a good living wage, paying $2,401 to $2,919 per month.

Information on the position may be found on the Web at http://www.ci.sweet-home.or.us/index.asp?NID=169.

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