The Aberdeen Police Department plans to kick off its Volunteers in Police Services program in the next couple weeks, giving local citizens the opportunity to act as an extra set of eyes and ears to assist the department.
Sgt. Steve Timmons, the program’s coordinator, said the VIPS program will likely get started in a couple weeks with its first batch of seven volunteers currently getting prepped.
Volunteers will perform a variety of tasks, such as house checks for businesses and residents on vacation who requested it. They would also set up booths at city-run events to ensure things run smoothly at events such as the Splash Festival and Founder’s Day Parade. According to a police press release, volunteers will also handle some clerical activities and provide administrative support at the station.
To aid the program, Rich Hartman and his Five Star Dealerships donated a 2017 Buick Encore to be used for Citizen Patrol activities.
“This will be another problem- solving partnership, as citizens within our community actively participate with our department to make Aberdeen safer,” according to a press release from the police department. “Our thanks go out to Rich Hartman and his Five Star Dealerships for working with us, by providing this valuable resource to get the program rolling.”
With the new vehicle, Timmons said volunteers would act as an extra set of eyes for the police, checking on businesses and patrolling school and shopping areas to let officers know if they see anything suspicious. Volunteers receive their own uniforms with patches indicating they’re with the Aberdeen Police Department, Timmons said.
Although the first group of seven volunteers is already on board, Timmons said people are still welcome to apply for the program. He said the department is primarily seeking applicants over 50 years old, but they will consider younger applicants as well.
The applications include standard background checks, work history and references. Volunteers will also receive a flashlight, Timmons said, and get a driving course for the Citizen Patrol vehicle.
Those interested in joining the Volunteers in Police Services program can contact Timmons by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 360-538-4445.