York Regional Police has announced a new role in its organization, community support officers (CSOs), who attend calls, collect information and evidence and help keep citizens safe.
Easily identifiable in uniforms with light blue piping and specially marked vehicles, CSOs have patrolled the #4 District (City of Vaughan) since November 2022 as part of a one-year pilot project.
Among their duties, CSOs direct traffic, assist with road closures, provide security at insecure premises and crime scenes, canvas neighbourhoods for witnesses and surveillance footage and take reports for property crimes. By performing these important tasks, CSOs free up police officers to focus on priority calls.
CSOs will also help increase York Regional Police presence in our community through proactive foot and vehicle patrols. This increased visibility will help deter crime and provide residents with enhanced service delivery.
“Community support officers are a valuable asset to York Regional Police and York Region. These peace officers perform vital operational tasks and help keep the public safe, allowing sworn officers to be directed where they are needed most,” Police Chief Jim MacSween said. “They also engage meaningfully with the public, creating stronger bonds of trust between our police service and the community it serves.
“So far, our CSOs have been very well received by the community. Members of the public have remarked appreciatively on their professionalism, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm, as well as their desire to go above and beyond to provide assistance.”
Currently, one CSO has been assigned to each platoon at #4 District. York Regional Police is exploring how the program can be expanded across the region in the future.