January 6, 2011

Santa Cruz Police Launch Community Volunteer Program

In an effort to provide additional opportunities of community partnership and engagement, the Santa Cruz Police Department has launched a full-scale volunteer program. This program, with a wide variety of opportunities touching on all facets of police work, will allow local community members the ability to volunteer their skills and time for local public safety.

“We know that in order to be successful, a strong sense of shared purpose must exist between the Santa Cruz Police Department and our community” Police Chief Kevin Vogel said, “as a police volunteer, you are helping develop this sense of unity and continually connect us with the community we serve.”

In developing the program the department worked with other regional law enforcement agencies, neighborhood groups, elected officials and the national Volunteers in Policing Program to develop a strong local model.  Councilmember-elect David Terrazas met with the agency early in the process to help develop the program. “Volunteers in Policing is an innovative program which helps to free up officers to focus on critical community needs,” Terrazas said, “it’s an important first step in increasing our community partnerships in new ways and conserving and protecting valuable local resources for the long-term."

Volunteers will be able to participate in all elements of police work including operations, investigations, records and community services.  A sample of opportunities include working on community events, aiding in maintenance of police vehicles and the command post, working on traffic complaints, vacation checks, gang and graffiti file updating and the Citizen’s Police Academy. By accomplishing these duties and volunteering a minimum number of hours per month, each volunteer provides an outstanding service to the community. Volunteers will need to fill out an application and go through a background process.

Volunteers can obtain all of the necessary information from the Santa Cruz Police Department website: http://www.santacruzpolice.com/.