Community Service Officer

  • City of Seattle, WA
  • Seattle, Washington
  • May 21, 2019
Full Time Public Safety
  • Salary: $31.78 - $37.06 Hourly

Job Description

Position Description

The Seattle Police Department's (SPD) Community Service Officer (CSO) Unit is staffed by non-commissioned officers who are trained and work as liaison personnel between the community and the SPD. CSOs do not carry weapons nor enforce criminal laws. Instead, they serve to bridge the service gap on non-criminal calls for service and perform a variety of public safety-related community service and outreach work that does not require the enforcement authority of a sworn police officer.
Under the supervision of a Police Sergeant, CSOs respond to and address public safety concerns that do not immediately require a police officer or other agency response. CSOs provide information and service referrals to individuals who have been contacted by the police. CSOs are responsible for maintaining an excellent working knowledge of available services and resources, which make them ideal "system navigators." Unit staff receive training in police operations, social work, de-escalation, conflict resolution and mediation, crisis intervention, institutional racism and cultural competency. They develop community partnerships to support increased collaboration between SPD and the community for the purpose of leveraging community strengths and identifying alternative strategies to various law enforcement and social issues.
CSOs work assigned areas of the city on foot or in marked CSO vehicles, responding to radio dispatched calls for service. CSOs may assist with mediating non-violent disputes (e.g., family, neighborhood and landlord/tenant) and provide follow-up on calls for non-criminal emergency services (e.g., food, housing, transportation and social services). They work closely with dispatchers, police officers, parking enforcement officers, crime prevention personnel and various social service agencies to coordinate police and social services and exchange information.
CSOs also work with the department's Community and Directed Outreach personnel to advance the department's goals related to collaborative policing. CSOs assist with community outreach and engagement efforts, with a special focus on youth engagement.

Job Responsibilities

Community Engagement and Education
  • Assists with development and execution of outreach plans.
  • Maintains relationships with community partners and cultivates new partnerships.
  • Prepares outreach materials, including but not limited to brochures, pamphlets or other written and web-based materials.
  • Attends relevant community events and meetings.
  • Coordinates special events, projects or activities, as directed.
  • Facilitates information sharing between the community and SPD.

System Navigation
  • Responds to non-criminal service calls that do not require the enforcement authority of a sworn police officer.
  • Evaluates the needs of clients, including but not limited to at-risk youth, unsheltered individuals, chemically dependent, physically and mentally ill and the elderly.
  • Connects people with available City services and programs, including but not limited to: diversion opportunities, youth programming, emergency services (e.g., housing, food or other), elder services, programs for the chemically dependent and mental health services.
  • Conducts follow-up on the well-being of at-risk individuals and reports to appropriate agencies on any hazards.
  • Mediates conflict, such as family, landlord/tenant and neighbor disputes, investigates the cause and identifies solutions or refers parties to appropriate services (e.g., counseling or legal assistance).

Youth Services and Diversion
  • Assists with development and implementation of youth-focused programming.
  • Facilitates opportunities for youth to interact with SPD Police Officers.
  • Cultivates and maintains relationships with community-based youth organizations and service providers.
  • Provides service referrals for youth and their families.
  • Attends SPD, school and community-hosted events and activities.

  • Prepares routine reports on incidents involving the CSO Unit.
  • Advises on special projects related to the CSO function (i.e., non-criminal emergency services).
  • Supports Patrol Officers in the field by delivering messages, assisting in report completion, and providing emergency transportation.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


Bachelor's degree in criminal justice, social work, social service, communications or a related field, and one year of experience in the criminal justice system, social work, social service, or a closely related field OR a combination of education and/or training and/or experience, especially community service-related work, which provides an equivalent background to perform the work of the class.

Desired Qualifications:
The CSO Unit should be comprised of individuals who are representative of the communities it serves. SPD seeks to fill the open CSO positions with individuals from demographic groups currently underrepresented in the Police department, including elders, immigrants, and individuals with past involvement in the criminal justice system. Preference will be given to applicants who have a proven history of community involvement as well as applicants who are multi-lingual. Competitive applicants will also possess one or more of the following:
  • Cultural competency and a commitment to race and social justice.
  • Training and/or experience working with at-risk individuals, including but not limited to at-risk youth, unsheltered individuals, chemically dependent, physically and mentally ill and the elderly.
  • Excellent written, interpersonal and problem-solving skills; ability to communicate effectively and respectfully.
  • De-escalation skills.
  • Knowledge of and/or existing relationships with Seattle social service providers and community-based organizations; familiarity with City services.

Position Requirements:
  • Day shift schedule, however due to the Seattle Police Department being a 24/7 operation, you may be required to work nights, weekends and/or holidays
  • Must pass a Seattle Police Department background investigation.
  • Must have a valid Washington State Driver's License prior to being hired.

Work Environment/Physical Demands:
  • Requires frequent interaction with potentially violent, unstable, and/or physically ailing persons in unsafe environments, such as unclean residences.
  • Requires frequent exposure to Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM).
  • Works outdoors in all weather conditions when patrolling by foot.
  • Considerable amount of automobile travel required.
  • Occasionally required to lift or carry heavy objects.
  • Occasionally required to crawl/climb to dangerous and/or inaccessible areas.

Additional Information

The Seattle Police Department is comprised of approximately 2,000 dedicated law enforcement professionals all committed to creating and fostering a work environment that is collaborative, innovative and leading the way in law enforcement principles and practices. Ours is a culture that encourages top performers to adhere to a standard of excellence in the identification of and resolution to complex challenges. The Seattle Police Department values diverse perspectives and life experiences; people of color, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply:
If you are encouraged by and meet the qualifications you just read, we invite you to applying online at or complete an application, cover letter, resume and drop it off at the Human Resources Department, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 - 5th Avenue, Suite 5400, Seattle, WA 98124-4028. Job Number 2019-00893.
Closing Date/Time: 6/18/2019 4:00 PM Pacific