Public safety ambassadors nearly ready to hit Marietta streets - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Public safety ambassadors nearly ready to hit Marietta streets

MARIETTA, GA (CBS46) -

Rather than expanding its force of sworn peace officers, the Marietta Police Department will instead utilize eight new public safety ambassador positions to help handle non-violent crime calls.

Those eight job openings attracted 87 applicants, some of whom, according to the department, have master's degrees.

"It really doesn't surprise me that we've created a new opportunity and citizens are interested in it," said Marietta Chief of Police Dan Flynn. "Our crime is at an all-time low in the city of Marietta for serious crime of all kinds. However, our calls for police service are elevated considerably."

Many of those calls can be aided or even handled entirely by the new public safety ambassadors, who figure to make just over $30,000 for a starting salary. The program was approved by Marietta City Council in June for roughly $600,000. The PSAs will not be given weapons of any kind, and will not be sent to potentially violent situations. Instead, they will help take reports, direct traffic, investigate abandoned vehicles and other non-violent scenarios.

According to the department, the PSAs will be hired and on the street by the middle of October.

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