Volunteers assist the Pinellas Park Police Department employees in solving problems, reducing crime and the fear of crime, and improve the quality of life in the community. Volunteers form a mutual partnership with staff employees to supplement City services, freeing the paid staff to perform other necessary duties. The Volunteer Program places volunteers in programs and projects which best utilize their existing skills, talents, and interests while offering rewarding challenges.
Members of the Volunteer Program are selected from citizens of the City of Pinellas Park and surrounding communities. The program was initiated in mid 1999. Volunteers who have met the pre-appointment and training requirements serve in these areas:
In managerial and administrative offices such as at the police headquarters building or various neighborhood police mini-offices in areas such as fiscal, property, supply, front desk, records, etc. In these offices they assist the staff in technical and non-technical work. They are designated as "support volunteers". Some of the support volunteer duties include, but are not limited to, call-backs to victims, case status lookups, front desk customer service, data entry, filing, copying, language translation services, monthly reports, statistical reports, supply distribution, and training of volunteers.
In directed patrols using specially marked volunteer cars. The volunteers are designated as "patrol volunteers". Some of the patrol volunteer duties include, but are not limited to: performing directed patrols for speeding complaints, performing directed patrols in order to obtain data for further police action, performing welfare checks of Pinellas Park citizens, delivering equipment to traffic and crime scenes, assisting in parking law enforcement, picking up and labeling found property, transporting victims and witnesses, training of new volunteers, assisting the Pinellas Park Police Department in special details and events, extending the presence of the Pinellas Park Police Department in all areas of the city through contacts with the citizens, and identifying problem areas in the city.
In on-call assignments requiring special skills such as language translation or interpretation.
The work and devotion of the Volunteer is an extremely valuable resource to the City of Pinellas Park. Volunteers donate their time and energy to the community without expecting any compensation except for the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the City of Pinellas Park a better place to live.
Nationwide, over 38,000 volunteers are working within more than 700 police departments as part of Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS), a key component of President Bush's Citizen Corps initiative created following September 11th to help make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. As part of his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush asked every American to volunteer two years or 4,000 hours over the course of their lives in service to our communities and our country. He created the USA Freedom Corps to connect millions of Americans to meaningful service opportunities such as VIPS. With greater demands placed on our law enforcement agencies today, these volunteers are absolutely vital to ensure that our officers have the time to focus on their key tasks. Our public safety, in a time of heightened security and new threats, depends on it.
In the aftermath of September 11, police officers and firefighters are among the leading heroes of young people. If we are going to build a culture of service and citizenship as the USA Freedom Corps is helping to do all across the country, our officers and the citizens that support them, must play leading roles. Fortunately, Pinellas Park is doing just that.