What’s important about artwork? Plenty, and a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, the new graphics on the trucks used by Community Service Officers will flag a difference between sworn patrol officers and civilian CSOs. One discussion Eugene Police had internally moving through the past few years of social justice reform was how to visibly mark CSOs to make them distinct from police officers. From the change to a softer uniform to now changing the graphics on the trucks to indicate the Community Service Unit responders, this change helps make CSOs more visible and distinct from sworn patrol officers. The new graphics include a big nod to the area’s forest roots with a tree graphic down the side, and a change in name to Community Service Unit. The unit’s distinct “CSO” patch is on the front door, and of course, a Community Safety Payroll Tax sticker.
The role of community service officers (CSOs) became a front and center topic in 2021, as the department and community looked for ways to ‘right size’ response by deploying non-sworn civilian staff to calls that don’t require a sworn officer’s response. The discussions centered on making the wisest use of resources through the Community Safety Payroll Tax (CSPT) funding and was noted frequently during input from the AdHoc Committee on Police Policy, which was convened to make recommendations after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through this work, EPD was able to add nine budgeted Community Service Officer positions and four CSO supervisor positions.
A total of six trucks and one SUV were completed by local Mac Group at $1,585 each. The rest of the CSO fleet is pending.
Community Services Unit is funded by Community Safety Payroll Tax. The tax was passed to provide funds to support the Community Safety System. Funding will help provide faster, more efficient safety responses, deter crime, connect people to services, engage and help at-risk youth, support more investigations, and court services, and hold those who commit crimes accountable. https://www.eugene-or.gov/3946/Community-Safety-Initiative