"Trying to ensure they get better service:" MPD prepares to add 10 community service officer positions

MILWAUKEE -- It's a plan to improve police response times in Milwaukee. The police department is looking to hire ten new community service officers. These are brand new positions and these officers will respond specifically to non-emergency calls.

"Some of our lower priority calls, you have to wait," said Milwaukee Police Department Inspector of Police, Carianne Yerkes.

When it comes to vandalism, or minor car accidents in Milwaukee, you could be waiting awhile for police to respond.

"Not everybody that calls 911 has an imminent emergency. A lot of times they have other issues, and this is one of the ways we're trying to ensure they get better service from us," said Yerkes.

The Milwaukee Police Department is moving forward with plans to hire ten new community service officers. These will be civilians, not sworn police officers -- hired specifically for non-emergencies.

Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission approved a description of the new position.

"These positions would support basic police department operations by performing a variety of duties not requiring the attention of a sworn police officer," said Andrea Knickerbocker, Milwaukee Employee Relations.

You might see these officers helping out with traffic control, or responding to minor crimes like property damage or theft.

"They might have a lighter color shirt or they'll have something above their patch that says community service officer, so they should be easily identified," said Yerkes.

One of the biggest clues will be no gun belt. Those positions won't be armed but police say, given the nature of their work, they're confident these officers will be safe.

"There's a lot of individuals who work for the city who go throughout the community, our DPW officers, our DNS," said Yerkes.

Money for the ten jobs is already in next year's budget -- the position pays between $39,000 and $47,000.

"We're looking forward to putting the ten officers we hire through some training and getting them out on the street," said Yerkes.

The police department is looking to start hiring within the next couple months. Candidates must be 20 years old and have a background in investigations or security. These new officers could be responding to calls by early 2016.