Public Safety Support Specialists

Information
Photo of a smiling PS3 Employee
The Public Safety Support Specialist Program was created to enhance community engagement opportunities and reduce the number of armed police officers responding to lower priority calls for service. With PS3s taking over the low priority calls, officers are freed up to respond to 911 calls.
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Now Hiring PS3s.
View open positions in the Police Bureau.

What can Public Safety Support Specialists do independently?

(Note: This list is not exhaustive.)

• Write police reports for non-emergency situations that do not require police officer authority, and do not involve potential evidence, suspects, or a crime scene.
• Respond to:

  • vehicle break-ins with no suspect information
  • non-injury traffic collisions to facilitate information exchange between involved parties; coordinate tow services for disabled vehicles.
  • bicycle thefts
  • burglaries with no suspect information (the PS3 could summon a Criminalist to look for latent fingerprints or other latent evidence)
  • Found/lost property
  • Other thefts with no suspect information (stolen wallets, purses, other items)

• Conduct follow-up on property crimes where there is no suspect information, either by phone or in person, with an emphasis on crime victims’ rights and referrals to other City Bureaus.
• Perform property board-ups in cases where a window is broken but no one entered (they could also wait for the board-up vendor to come after officers have cleared the location to make sure there are no burglars inside, which would free up an officer)
• Walking patrols, if assigned by PPB sergeants
• Community engagement functions
• Attend neighborhood meetings, community and/or public events
• Assist with inventory and maintenance of PPB-issued equipment, excluding weapons and ammunition.
• Assist drivers in stalled vehicles and summon other necessary assistance; respond to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other community members in need of assistance.
• Assist with temporary street closures, detours and other public service duties identified by police supervisors.
• Broadcast and receive messages via police radio and Mobile Data Terminal (MDT); maintain contact with field units; ask for assistance when appropriate due to incident type and scope.
• Summon a police officer
• Deliver emergency food boxes to a family in need

How can Public Safety Support Specialists assist officers?

• Assist police officers in searching for missing persons such as elderly adults, medically fragile adults, or children when there is no reason to believe they are a threat to themselves or the community.
• PS3s can also help sworn officers with things that, in the past, would have required the help of
another sworn officer. For example, a NRT team could bring PS3s along to inventory property seized at a search
warrant. PS3s could help canvas a neighborhood and collect video after a robbery or other crime.


What are Public Safety Support Specialists not able to do?

• PS3s do not have police authority, the power granted by the state to enforce criminal laws.
• PS3s cannot respond to calls by themselves if police authority is required.
• Search warrant service
• Make arrests
• Carry firearms
• Civil holds such as mental health or detox holds
• Any situation involving weapons or the potential for violence
• Traffic collisions where a citation is necessary (for example when someone doesn’t have insurance)
• Traffic collisions when a police investigation is required (trauma-entry injuries or traffic crimes, such as DUII or hit and run, although a PS3 could take a hit and run if the suspect is gone and there’s only property damage)
• Situations requiring community caretaking functions of police, such as forcing entry to a home to do a welfare check
• Persons crimes, such as assaults, sex crimes, and child/elder abuse
• PS3s will not serve as front desk clerks. There is already a position for this and that work is protected by AFSCME.
• PS3s will not drive patrol vehicles. They will have their own specially-marked vehicles.

View open positions in the Police Bureau.