A new Community Service Officer for city
Stronger links to residents seen
March 12, 2020 | View PDF
Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press
Shafter Police veteran officer Eric Diaz has been named the department's new community service officer.
The City Council approved a resolution a few months ago to add the new position.
He has five years experience with the department and is eager to begin this new venture into the community, making the connection between the Shafter Police Department and the community at large stronger.
Chief Kevin Zimmermann believes that Diaz is uniquely qualified for this position because Diaz actually is the product of a Police Explorer program at a nearby agency. One of the duties of the community service officer will be to reestablish the now-dormant programs that the department had in place in the past, including the Explorer Program and the Police Activities League program.
The genesis of the new community service officer position is in the department's desire to expand the connection between the Police Department and the people of Shafter, according to Zimmermann. "The community service officer will be expected to utilize the various social media platforms to enhance the Police Department's connectivity to members of the community."
The Explorer Program will be designed to encourage Shafter's teens and young adults to appreciate the merits of volunteerism at the community level. The Police Activities League will mirror that concept, but it will concentrate on volunteerism through the prism of community projects as the primary program driver, Zimmermann said.
Members of the Shafter Police Department Explorer program will also learn some of the basic mechanics of law enforcement, and they will be a visible presence at the many community events in and around Shafter. "But, I believe that the most important lesson to be learned by the Explorers and members of PAL is that they will ultimately represent a tangible connection between the Police Department and the community's most valuable resource -- our youth," commented Zimmermann.
Officer Diaz's initial focus will be to lay the foundation to stand up these programs so that they can have long term success. "I have every confidence that these programs, once established, will represent a wonderful connection between the past and the future," the chief said.