Hinesville Police looking to hire public safety support specialists

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:57 PM EDT
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HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Hinesville recently approved a new way to tackle the workload of the Hinesville Police Department.

They’ve added four new openings for “Public Safety Support Specialists” – these are not sworn officers, but the Hinesville Police Chief says it’ll help make the city safer by handling other duties of the department. Hayley Boland explains.

Hinesville Police Chief Lloyd Slater says the new positions will allow more of his sworn officers to spend more time on the roads and responding to emergency calls.

“We know that the municipality is continuing to grow, while at the same time, we’re continually shrinking. At some point in time, what we’ve calculated is that in anywhere between 8-10 years, we’re going to be in a position to where we can no longer adequately provide public safety the way that we should,” said Chief Slater.

The department has the capacity for 85 sworn police officers and they currently have 12 vacancies. With the new change, four of those positions are being switched to Public Safety Support Specialists – known as PS3s.

These employees wouldn’t carry a badge, but they’d be able to help respond to non-emergent misdemeanor calls, and assist the public in filing police reports.

“Dispatchers will dispatch a PS3 to the location, and a PS3 would take the report. There’s no imminent danger, nor is there any information pertaining to that case, that’s relevant at that time. In other words, it didn’t just happen a few minutes ago, where we’re looking for a particular suspect.”

Slater says this is especially useful in minor car crashes on private property.

“They can go out and take those reports. They’ll have that luxury of spending a little more time with those individuals, getting a little more information than the regular sworn patrol officer can. We’d like to keep the same services we have, and we’d like to do the same things we’ve done in the past, but we’re being more efficient with the personnel we have to do it with.”

A photo shows what their vehicles would look like and a mark-up of the department’s new logo for the position. Slater says he hopes this will help prevent further staffing issues down the road.

“This is going to be a service where we’re trying to put our best foot forward, and this is one of the best ways of doing that.”

Slater says they’re actively recruiting for these new positions. For more information, click here.