Staff Duty Officer Artie O'Brien
Instead of having an officer meet a citizen at a certain location within an officer’s beat, many citizens come directly to the police department to speak to an officer about a multitude of topics or to file reports. Historically, we would then have to dispatch an officer from the beat to the station to speak with the citizen. This in turn took an officer away from their beat as well as made the citizen have to wait for an officer to arrive. As our town grew, we found this happening more often. This created the need to staff an officer at the station to handle such walk-ins. Thus, the staff duty officer was instituted.
Initially, the staff duty officer started out as a rotation of patrol officers manning a desk at the main policing building to assist citizens that either call or come to the Police Department. Over time, the staff duty officer position has evolved into a full time position manned by the same police officer. The main function of this position still remains the same - to assist citizens by phone or when they come to the Police Department. However, over time, other duties and responsibilities have been added to this role. Such duties include: Overall security of Town Hall campus; maintaining the prescription medication drop-offs; serving subpoenas by telephone; maintaining material safety data sheets; assisting with background checks for criminal investigations; new employee and citizen programs; and assisting Human Resources, just to name a few. The staff duty officer also has the ability to assist all other Town departments when the need arises.
While many have served in this role since its creation, Officer O’Brien has truly developed the position into one that not only serves the police department but the Town of Cary as a whole. In 2014, he was selected as the Town of Cary Co-Employee of the Year.
As it was stated in his nomination: “O’Brien patrols Town Hall Campus, and nominees praised O’Brien for consistently going above and beyond what is required while doing what is right. From placing the welfare and safety of others at Town Hall above his own to assisting citizens with filing a report while waiting in the Police Department, O’Brien is engaged and thoughtful.”