The Special Services Division of the Benson Police Department consists of one Community Oriented Police (COPS) Officer, and one Animal Control Officer.
The COPS Officer position was created in 2010, using grant funds obtained from the US Department of Justice. Our department received funding for the salary and benefits of one officer for a three year period, and because of the success of the position, it became a permanent addition to the department. Officer Kaitlyn Caldwell fills this role for us, and her primary responsibility is to act as the liason between the Police Department and our community; by meeting and speaking with community groups, business owners, and citizens and visitors alike. Our Community Watch program is also included in the responsibilities of the position, as well as performing Security Checks at businesses and residences, and giving presentations to school groups.
Our Nuisance Abatement program is another function of the COPS role as well. The Nuisance Abatement program was created in 2004, to address conditions that were sometimes present in the Town of Benson. The COPS Officer is responsible for enforcing town ordinances relating to Junked and Abandoned Cars, High Grass and Weeds, and Substandard Housing Conditions, among others. Compliance with the various ordinances is gained primarily by educational and informational activities with Town residents, but other legal avenues are also available, if necessary.
The ultimate goal of the Community Oriented Police program is to facilitate a constructive dialog and relationship with the community we serve, by providing an officer to answer questions, make suggestions, tackle community problems, and just be a friendly face that everyone knows.
Another responsibility of the Special Services Division is Animal Control. The Town of Benson operates a small holding shelter, but eventually, all stray animals are transferred to the Johnston County Animal Shelter. Our Animal Control Officer, Robert Gautier, responds to various incidents involving animals, and is also subject to being called upon to capture animals, or assist in other ways at any time.
If you would like to schedule a presentation by the COPS Officer for your group, or you need to speak with him about specific ordinances, please contact the Police Department at 919-894-2091. You may also contact the COPS Officer, or the AC Officer by email.