SAN JOSE (KGO) -- Happening today, 25 people will graduate from a San Jose law enforcement academy. But, they won't be police officers; instead, they'll be helping keep officers on the street by handling some non-emergency calls.
These community service officers will not be responding to serious crimes, but they are expected to take some of the pressure off of the department as staffing levels remain low.
Today is the end of the five week Community Service Officer Academy. After today's graduation, the 25 people will begin a three week field training program. They'll be paired up with a sworn officer as they respond to calls for service.
Those calls will be lower priority calls, like property crimes, non-injury traffic accidents, vehicle theft, vandalism and other non-emergency circumstances. San Jose police say this will allow sworn officers to focus more on responding to high priority emergency calls and have more time for proactive enforcement.
This comes as the department suffers from low morale and low staffing numbers. Officers have retired and resigned in record numbers over the past few years.
As for the community service officers, their graduation is at 2 p.m. at Family Community Church.