At the Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS), we agree that safe communities are a thing to celebrate. VIPS is proud to partner with the National Crime Prevention Council and Celebrate Safe Communities to not only educate residents about crime prevention, but also recognize the work of dedicated law enforcement volunteers who offer their time on a daily basis to help prevent crime and promote public safety.
There are more than 244,000 law enforcement volunteers supporting more than 2,180 state, local, tribal, and campus VIPS Programs. We know the actual number of volunteer programs is much higher. Volunteers support many different facets of law enforcement work, including investigations, chaplaincy, code enforcement, and property management. One of the most significant areas in which volunteers provide support is crime prevention.
Examples of volunteer crime prevention activities include:
- Performing vacation home checks for traveling residents
- Completing property security surveys with home and business owners
- Planning and supporting community public safety events
- Assisting with D.A.R.E. and other youth outreach events
- Speaking about crime prevention topics to civic and neighborhood groups
- Joining or leading a Neighborhood Watch
- Conducting citizen patrols in neighborhoods, businesses, and school grounds by car, bike, or foot
Are you ready to become a law enforcement volunteer?
Not all of the activities listed above are available in all jurisdictions, but there are likely many exciting and rewarding opportunities in your own community.
Visit www.policevolunteers.org/programs to search the VIPS Program Directory for law enforcement volunteer programs near you. The directory can be searched by zip code, state, and keyword. On each listing, you will find a profile of the program and contact information for the volunteer program manager. If your local agency is not listed, try calling the department directly, as they may have volunteer opportunities that are not listed on the national website.
If you are a law enforcement agency looking to start or enhance your volunteer program, visit www.policevolunteers.org for access to a variety of publications, an information sharing listserv, and the Building Blocks of a Law Enforcement Volunteer Program E-learning Course.
For questions about volunteering with or implementing a law enforcement volunteer program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-THE-IACP.
To hear more about VIPS crime prevention efforts, listen to the latest edition of the VIPS Monthly Podcast Series, This October, Celebrate Safe Communities.
The Volunteers in Police Service Program is managed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.