By Jared Felkins

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet police recently launched a new unit to further serve the community and free up officers for higher priority incidents.

A new civilian all-volunteer unit in the department, community service officers will be deployed in the field to aid police officers to respond to lower priority calls for service.

Community service officers, when on duty, will be able available to assist with traffic control, visibility patrols, motorist assists, roadway debris removal, extra patrols, home vacation checks and other low-priority incidents. The unit is designed to relieve police officers of some of the more minor and routine tasks that can more effectively and economically be handled by civilian volunteers and free up police officers to deal with higher priority tasks and criminal activities more comparable with their training and expertise.

Community service officers are civilians, not police officers, and undergo a 50-hour training program before they start their service. They are identified in bright-green reflective polo shirts and black pants. The department plans to open opportunities for interested citizens to become volunteer community service officers in the future.