Training is under way to prepare 20 new police community support officer for their time on the beat.
The latest additions to Durham Constabulary are setting out on their initial three-week training course before gaining front line experience in their roles.
Their training will cover an understanding of the law and how to help those in need, as well as the use of police IT systems at the force’s Centre of Excellence in Meadowfield.
Assistant Chief Officer Gary Ridley said: “We are pleased to welcome the new PCSOs to one of the best forces in the country.
“They will play a crucial role in the work that we do and will replace existing PCSOs who have gone on to become police officers.
"They will provide a visible presence in our neighbourhoods and the intensive three-week induction means that they hit the streets running.
“We are committed to protecting neighbourhoods, tackling criminals and solving problems around the clock.”
New recruit, Jennifer Atkinson was previously a call handler taking 999 calls for the force.
She said: “It is an honour to be moving roles and to patrol the beat. Durham Police is an outstanding force and I am looking forward to the new challenge ahead.”
Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “I am delighted that the force has been able to recruit these very promising new PCSOs.
"Their recruitment reflects my commitment to the public of Durham and Darlington that I will use their money wisely, giving real priority to front-line policing.
"Our resources remain stretched however.
"I continue to call on the Government to provide sufficient funding to maximise the number of officers in Durham in the future.”
PCSOs interact with the public and offer assistance to police officers at crime scenes and major events.
They also deal with minor offences; offer early intervention to deter people from committing offences; provide support for front-line policing; conduct house-to-house inquiries; guard crime scenes and provide crime prevention advice.