The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program is pleased to announce that we will celebrate our 10th anniversary this May!
The VIPS program was started as a part of USA Freedom Corps, initiated by President George W. Bush, to build on the countless acts of service, sacrifice, and generosity that followed September 11th. With the support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the International Association of Chiefs of Police launched the VIPS program in May of 2002
One core element of the VIPS website, www.policevolunteers.org, is the program database both for individuals looking to volunteer and for volunteer managers looking for new ideas. In its first month of existence, the database contained 74 registered programs in 29 states. Today there are more than 2,250 programs with 252,000 volunteers representing all 50 states and 19 international locations. In the last year, VIPS volunteers contributed more than 2 billion hours of volunteer service.
In recognition of our milestone year, we have set a goal to register 200 new programs during 2012. By offering a more comprehensive database of VIPS programs, we will present a more accurate and complete picture of law enforcement volunteerism and effectively direct potential volunteers to programs that fit their needs. You can help us by reaching out to your local law enforcement agency and encouraging them to register their program on the VIPS website.
Over the past 10 years, the roles volunteers play in law enforcement have expanded significantly. Volunteers support all types of law enforcement work from community events to investigations. Here are just a few examples:
- Pasadena, California, Police Department volunteers assisted more than 800 victims of identity theft in the last year.
- Numerous theft and drug arrests have been made thanks to Rolla, Missouri, Police Department volunteers’ work on tracking pawn tickets and purchases of methamphetamine ingredients.
- A volunteer with the Aurora, Colorado, Police Department has submitted 35 composite sketches to detectives, the first of which led officers to arrest a suspect charged with robbery and kidnapping within two weeks.
Read more about the many innovative ways law enforcement agencies engage volunteers to keep communities safe in Volunteers in Police Service Add Value While Budgets Decrease.
To learn more about volunteering with law enforcement and to find opportunities in your area, visit www.policevolunteers.org.