Tualatin's long-awaited community service officer will begin to hit the streets in January

TUALATIN - Messy renters and homeowners should beware - the Tualatin Police Department is looking to unleash its newest recruit in early January.

Crystal Reynolds is the city's first code-enforcement officer.

Her position is actually called community service officer. Reynolds will handle code-enforcement issues on a part-time basis. The rest of her time will be spent as an unsworn officer helping the police department deal with non-emergency calls.

But even Reynolds realizes that most residents will likely come to know her from her code-enforcement activities. Several residents and the chief of police have fought for the last few years for the city to fund a position that handles municipal code enforcement like noxious vegetation and 'attractive nuisances.'

After a few rides around the city, Reynolds said parking issues, graffiti, abandoned vehicles and nuisance abatement will probably be among some of the more common issues she'll handle.

Reynolds' role as a code-enforcement officer will likely start out with a reactive approach as she learns to handle the flood of complaints that are expected to await her when she begins.

'If we flip the switch so to speak, I suspect she will be a popular person,' said Police Chief Kent Barker.

But Reynolds will also be expected to search out code violations on her own.

'Once she sifts through that (the complaints received about code violations), I think you'll see a lot of proactive activity,' officer Norm Tollefsen said.

Reynolds is a Tualatin High School graduate. She has a background in customer service working as a bartender, waitress and managing a restaurant. She also has a degree in criminal justice.

But what impressed Barker most were Reynolds' communication skills.

'I'm looking for someone who can do their best to get compliance,' Barker said.

In fact, the No. 1 goal of the new code-enforcement position is to get as much voluntary compliance as possible.

Reynolds was officially hired on Nov. 1. She is still undergoing training that involves familiarizing herself with the city's building and general offenses codes and undergoing training as outlined in a police academy guideline for community service officers.

While she is not a sworn officer, Reynolds is learning some basic police policies and tactics, including defensive moves, driving skills, report writing, traffic control and basic criminal investigation skills.

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