The addition of a community service officer to the Oregon Police Department last month is already making a difference.
Police Chief Darin DeHaan said having Shane Mowry working on ordinance violations and parking compliance has freed up full-time officers to provide other services to the community, and has made a dent in the list of complaints the department typically receives.
Mowry, 20, of Oregon, was hired as CSO in June and works 20 hours per week on ordinance violations such overgrown grass, unlicensed vehicles parked in yards, and otherwise unkempt properties.
“Shane has done a fantastic job with making contact with residents, identifying the problems, and following up,” DeHaan said.
Mowry is also making sure the two-hour parking restrictions in the downtown are followed.
Before writing any parking tickets, he met with downtown business owners to let them know the ordinance would be enforced.
“Almost immediately he got an email from one of the business owners saying thank you,” DeHaan said.
The summer job gives Mowry some valuable experience as he prepares for a career as a police officer.
“I’m going to college for criminal justice, and I thought would be a good stepping stone,” he said.
Mowry answers calls from residents who see violations in their neighborhoods and also notes violations while he’s on duty.
He said he is enjoying his work.
“It’s really good after getting a call to go through the steps and see that it makes a difference,” he said.
DeHaan said the CSO position was created just for the summer months, but he hopes it can be expanded to year-round.
The truck Mowry is driving is one the city Water Department no longer needed. A little striping was all it took to outfit it for the CSO.
Mowry’s wages are paid from the city’s Health & Safety Fund, which was formerly used for animal control, before those duties were taken over by the county.
“There’s little or no impact on tax dollars,” DeHaan said.