COUNTYWIDE : Supervisors Support Helpers for Deputies

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday supported a plan to use unsworn community services officers to help with the growing workload of regular Orange County sheriff's deputies patrolling the unincorporated areas of South County.

The board put off another decision to add up to 54 regular sheriff's patrol deputies for the South County until the supervisors conduct their midyear budget review in January.

The supervisors received a report Tuesday that recommended that more deputies should be hired to patrol the unincorporated areas. That same report pointed out that no new deputies had been hired for four years, despite an annual increase in population of 18% in South County.

According to the report, the community services officers could work at desks, write criminal reports and be used for field support. The unsworn deputies would not make arrests.

Supervisors also directed personnel to develop a classification for the new type of officers and report back on the cost of hiring community services officers.

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