EL PASO COUNTY, CO — On Thursday the El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced the launch of a new unit intended to bolster the El Paso County Sheriff's department's response to community incidences.
In an effort to increase their presence and services the Community Service Specialist (CSS) Unit was launched.
The CSS Unit will be made up of uniformed personnel that respond to calls for service that are not in progress and that do not involve injuries.
Types of service call this personnel will be responding to are but not limited to Motor Vehicle Theft, Burglary, Trespass into a vehicle or onto property, Theft, Identify Theft/Fraud, Criminal Mischief, Lost/Found Property, Abandoned Vehicles, and Traffic Control for accident scenes or other hazards.
As a Unit CSS does not have arrest authority but can file criminal investigation reports, collect evidence, and support other EMS responders.
The unit began training with 2 members in June of 2022, consisting of over 140 hours, and covered Colorado state statutes, EPSO policies and procedures, report writing, interviewing, and criminal investigation.
Each CSS Unit member is certified to carry pepper spray and has taken extensive self-defense training.
CSS Unit members are also certified in a 40-hour crisis intervention training. After their initial 140 hours of training were 6 weeks of field training during which they were taught and coached by a sworn Patrol Division deputy.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office stated, "The El Paso County Sheriff's Office believes the CSS Unit will be a valuable force multiplier for our Patrol Division, allowing our deputies to spend more time engaged in proactive community policing by being mobile and visible in and around the state's most populated county and by easing the burden non-emergent calls for service place on our sworn deputies' ability to provide timely response to emergency situations."
The Sheriff's Office does expect the CSS Unit to grow over time. But for now, it will remain with its two original members pictured.
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