SHSU Professor Explores Civilian Police Services

Illustration of civilian police with a red figure with binoculars leading a line of grey figures.

Facing deep budget cuts due to the downturn in the economy, many police departments across the country are looking for alternative ways to deliver their services, such as mergers, consolidations and contracts. Dr. William King of the College of Criminal Justice is developing a proposal on how civilians may be used in the process.

Dr.
Dr. William King
Dr. King, Associate Dean for Research and Program Development, is developing a guide on how to use civilians in police service in collaboration with the Program on Police Consolidation and Shared Services (PCASS) at Michigan State University. That program will offer training and support for all forms of consolidation and shared services, including strategies for structure, staffing and asset deploy, pilot projects in communities, best practices and implementation.

“Municipalities in local areas are trying to provide policing services with budget cuts and less money,” said Dr. King. “Many are looking at consolidation, mergers and contracting services. We are looking for alternative delivery method for police services, such as civilian employees."

Photo of back of Police vest with Community Support Officer written on it.Dr. King’s study will examine different jurisdictions throughout the country that have used civilian employees and develop a guide on the issues and implementation of these programs. The guide will explore funding issues and offer a cost-benefit analysis. It will also examine the challenges and success of programs and discuss the issue for implementation.

Dr. King’s study will be one of the many resources available from PCASS, which is being developed as an independent and objective source for law enforcement, city managers and supervisors to assess what model is best for their community.

The project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. It is located at http://policeconsolidation.msu.edu/.

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