Harrisburg Police hire seven community service assistants to bridge office and residents


A new team from the Harrisburg Police Department will soon take to the streets.

The city has hired seven community service helpers, as part of an effort to improve relations between the office and residents, as well as help busy agents.

These full-time civilian positions were approved as part of Harrisburg’s 2021 budget, which included a $ 1 million increase for the office.

During last year’s budget process, the CSA’s proposal encountered opposition from the community, with some residents unhappy that additional funds went to the police rather than other community resources.

However, the council voted to add the seven positions, expanding the office’s community policing division. More than 140 people applied for the positions, generating more interest than any other position in the office, said Blake Lynch, director of community relations and engagement for the office.

The new hires will interact with residents, manage quality of life issues and assist offerings on calls, Lynch explained.

CHWs are currently still in training and are starting to meet with residents, Lynch said. Members of the community will have the chance to meet them at National Night Out, an upcoming event hosted by the office.

The seven assistants are all from the Harrisburg area, know the city well and meet the office’s primary qualification for hiring – “a heart of service to our residents,” said Lynch.

“CHWs will serve and be a resource for our residents and officers, while continuing to build trust,” he said.

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