COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM AND SERVICES DIVISION (COPS)
The COPS Division is commanded by a Police Lieutenant. Created in 2023 to improve police operations of specialized programs, the purpose of the division is to deliver community outreach programs and supervise staff assigned to key community policing functions. The COPS Division includes STAR Team, Community Policing Unit, School Resource Officer, DARE Officer, Animal Control, Police K9 team and VIPS. COPS Division coordinates police department staffing for special events.
The COPS Division Commander is the STAR Team Commander and manages all Professional Standards Investigations. Additionally, the COPS Division Commander coordinates all department training and is the Public Information Officer for the department.
The Special Tactics and Rescue Team (STAR) is a team of highly trained department staff who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to high risk incidents such as barricaded subjects, hostage situations, high risk warrant service, dignitary protection, missing persons
searches and active threat incidents, like active shooter incidents. STAR Team is comprised of members of the Ottawa Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
Community Policing Unit
The Community Policing Unit was created in 2022 with a grant from the Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to hire a Community Police Officer and Crisis Co-Responder to address non-emergency mental health crisis calls. CPU also is the department's primary liaison to underserved populations, such as homeless, elderly, and juveniles. To reach CPU please call 785-242-2561 Ext. 4CPU (4278) or by email at CPU@ottawaks.gov
School Resource Officer
The School Resource Officer (SRO) is assigned to USD290 and reports to the division commander.
The SRO works primarily in Ottawa High School and Middle School, but can respond to issues occurring
within other USD290 educational facilities. The SRO is present during the school day, and during some
sporting events, to preserve the safety of staff and students and is not expected to engage in
administrative functions and school-related discipline. However, the SRO does participate in the delivery
of certain educational objectives related to careers in public safety and law and in the operation of
school based safety initiatives. While in the school environment the SRO is encouraged to serve as a
mentor to students seeking such guidance.
The Community Services Officer (CSO) reports to the division commander and is a commissioned police officer who investigates complaints of animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect and enforces the City and State animal control laws. The CSO rescues injured or sick stray pets and transports them to the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter for temporary care and housing. The CSO provides animal care tips, and educational presentations to individuals and organized groups. Prairie Paws is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Normal CSO duty hours are from 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday unless animal control issues require adjustments to these hours.