We Proudly Present the Sheriff’s Office Inaugural Community Engagement Volunteers Team
Front row, from left: Kate McDonald, Lynn Stacy, Lorie Altvater, Mindy Hedges. Back row: Vince Pasquale, Jr., Pam Foster, Erica Wood, Matthew Carter, and Mike Williams. This new community engagement concept was introduced to the Delaware County community in the spring of 2021 when the Sheriff’s Office sought applicants. After a thorough and competitive vetting process, the above nine residents were selected to serve a three-year term.
“The community are the police … and the police are the community.” -Sir Robert Peel
What does that mean? Law enforcement professionals take an oath and are sworn to protect our community, but it is our community who collectively sets the expectations, governs our actions, and ultimately holds us accountable.
Because we are a large and diverse County, comprised of multiple communities, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has taken another step to enhance its community relations efforts by creating the Community Engagement Volunteers program. Simply defined, this program consists of citizen volunteers who will serve a term as civilian team members of the Sheriff’s Office to help provide a fresh perspective. Citizens choose to serve on one of four focus areas and they review, provide input, and make recommendations related to policies, incidents, training, etc. to help hold our Office accountable. This is not a one-and-done volunteer position. The role is extensive, but the rewards gained by the Sheriff’s Office and our communities will benefit all.
The ultimate goal of this program is for residents to have confidence and trust in their local law enforcement. How is this achieved?
- When members of the Sheriff’s Office treat all those with whom we come into contact with dignity and respect;
- By developing relationships with people from all of the diverse communities we serve;
- Through continuous two-way communication with residents; and
- When we positively engage our citizens in forums where they are encouraged and feel welcomed to share their opinions, ideas, and constructive criticism with us.
Community Engagement Volunteer Program
The Community Engagement Volunteer process consists of 4 Focus Areas for residents to choose where they would like to serve. The Focus Areas and volunteer expectations follow.
#1 Minority Recruitment
- Assist with identifying and recruiting all members of diverse cultures throughout Delaware County.
- Participate in community outreach programs.
- Recruit candidates through different means of communication and venues. I.E. – Social Media, Job Fairs, Vocational Schools, etc.
- Attend programs or hiring fairs, as able, given adequate notice.
- Be current on industry recruitment strategies and techniques.
#2 Hiring and Promotions
- Read and review hiring packet/resumes prior to participating in the interview process.
- Commit 4-5 hours for interviews 3 to 5 times a year (during traditional work day hours of 8AM – 5PM), as able, and given adequate notice.
- Participate on interview panels for internal promotions, backfilling open positions, or any new position that the office creates.
- Score candidates based on interview, and hiring packets to determine if they will move forward in the process.
- Contribute relevant knowledge to the process through personal and professional experiences.
- Ensure equality and fairness throughout the interviews.
- Research or assist with fair hiring practices and laws to be able to provide helpful feedback to the office.
#3 Policy, Training & Community Feedback
- Work effectively with the team to identify and develop key policy and training areas.
- Review and comment on existing and proposed training policies and practices.
- Have knowledge of Delaware County to include its population, demographics, and workforce.
- Assemble, research, interpret and analyze information to include current policies, procedures, manuals, Ohio Revised Code, Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), Ohio Collaborative, and Ohio Minimum Jail accreditation standards to explore possible alternatives to recommend necessary changes.
- Provide insight and feedback on upcoming community survey related to survey questions, audience, sampling, distribution, etc.*
* The two members of this Focus Area helped staff create a countywide community survey, which was implemented in the fall of 2022. CLICK HERE to learn more about what residents think about their safety and the work of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
#4 Use of Force
- Review and demonstrate a working knowledge of the DCSO Use of Force Policy and Procedures for Patrol Enforcement/Deputy and Jail divisions.
- Be open-minded, not having preconceived bias against law enforcement, and have a willingness to conduct work for the greater good of the community.
- Demonstrate an understanding of all levels of use of force (why needed, when, etc.) along with the technology and equipment utilized.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the rights of Peace Officers, Correctional Staff, Inmates, and Civilians.
- Ability to systematically analyze such data concerning uses of force in law enforcement and jail environments.
- Routinely attend meetings to review, discuss, and provide feedback specific to use of force incidents.
CLICK HERE for the Community Engagement Volunteer Job Description