Addition comes as department still short of sworn officers

After getting the vote from Folsom City Council, the Folsom Police Department is getting two more positions added to its force. The positions will not be that of a full police officer, they will known as Community Service officers. 


As opposed to a regular police officer, a community service officer cannot respond to calls involving violence or where suspects are present. According to Folsom Police Chief Rick Hillman, such an officer can respond to 35% of calls in a typical day, freeing up the others to be able to focus on calls of a more serious nature.

“Our Community Service Officers wear different color uniforms and drive vehicles that look different than officers’,” explained Hillman. “They are still sometimes seen as police officers. Our CSOs are good telling people about the differences of jobs when asked.”


Each of the two positions come with an average annual salary of $57,790, plus the cost of benefits. The positions cost less than fully equipped police officers, something the city is still short on, as it continues to recruit to fill vacancies. At the same time the vacancies have the department under budget as well. Recruiting officers today is a difficult task many departments are battling as the position is one that many no longer apply for.

“We once had an approved officer staffing of 93 officers with a population around 70,000,” Hillman said. “We now are approved for 80 officers with a population that has increased to 85,000. We need more police officers to keep up with the growing demands of our expanding community.” 


While it is budgeted for 80 officers, the Folsom Police Department is still short staffed. At last report, they were still recruiting to fill 8 open positions. 


While the department would rather add to his force of fully sworn police officers, Hillman is pleased to have something to help with the shortfall. 

The new positions will to relieve free up police officers for additional calls and patrols. The lower-level position will also help with response times to major calls with officers freed up to do so. 


“The action the council took is their decision. I support any action,” he said. “They were informed of budget concerns and still chose to add staffing.”

The City Council’s 3-2 decision to add the community service positions came from a motion council member Anna Rohrbough who was joined on the vote by YK Chalamcherla and Mike Kozlowski.

Folsom Mayor Rosario Rodriguez and councilmember Sarah Aquino disagreed with the mid-year budget adjustment in hopes the forthcoming budget presentation by the city finance director would illustrate what the department could do in the year to come in the way of officers and new hires and not be faced with a budget shortfall created by the mid-year budget adjustment.

“All of us up here are definitely pro-blue people,” Rodriguez said .“We want to see our Police Department staffed accordingly, all we’re saying is wait. We’re telling the Police Department that we want to give you something that’s going to limit your ability to be able to do effective policing in the city of Folsom.”

Although they have positions posted for the openings, Hillman does not anticipate hiring additional CSOs until at least July because proper testing, and background processes can take months to complete once a candidate applies. 

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David Brown
Author: David Brown