On Friday, April 4, 2003, nine Community Service Officers (CSO) graduated from the 7th CSO Academy Class at Troop C Headquarters in Tampa. The class began on February 24, 2003.
Each graduating officer received over 240 hours of classroom instruction and training, which consisted of crash investigation, report writing, public relations, defensive driving, and traffic law. Shown in the photo above, left to right, are Lt. Keely Weaver, Academy Coordinator, CSO Larry Maynard, CSO Charles Lancaster, CSO Michael Dunn, CSO Thomas Dunlop, CSO Wayne Eberius, CSO Elda Garcia, CSO Larry Watts, CSO Wendy Kimball, CSO Gerald Mullins, and Major Thomas Knight, Commander of Troop C.
Major Knight welcomes the new CSO's
Community Service Officers are responsible for responding to, and investigating minor crashes where there are no criminal charges involved, and providing assistance to stranded motorists. CSOs are not armed, nor do they have any arrest authority. They wear a distinctive colored uniform, which consists of a white shirt with FHP patches and black trousers.
Before they begin their duties of investigating minor traffic crashes, assisting disabled motorists, and responding to other minor calls for assistance to the motoring public, each officer must complete an additional four weeks of field training, followed by a probationary period.
Lt. Bobby Collins with CSO Field Training Officers
In the past, the field training was conducted by troopers. However, Major Knight, Troop C Commander, arranged for Lt. Bobby Collins to implement a field training program designed to train other CSO’s to fulfill this responsibility. Seven of the new CSO Officers have been assigned to Hillsborough County, while two are assigned to Pinellas County.
Congratulations to FHP’s newest Community Service Officers!