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On the subject of volunteers

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37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

I introduced myself last year when I joined PL, as a computer nerd who was looking at getting into LE. Since I joined this site I have made some really great friends and gained a couple mentors who I feel very close to. Because of a PL thread, I learned of a volunteer opportunity. I applied, they liked me, and now I am a volunteer. So now I am a computer nerd that spends a great deal of her free time volunteering with a local department (still trying to get into LE).


The group I am a part of is the first of its kind in this department. We are basically a test group. They are looking to us to help them shape and develop the program. Rarebit’s post got me wondering what you all really think of the idea. In the department I volunteer with I encounter a variety of reactions to us. People who appreciate the help, people who are nasty, and people who simply can not understand why anyone would volunteer.


So I am wondering:


Does your department have volunteers?

If so, do you find them helpful or harmful? What do they help out with?

If you don’t, what do you think of the idea? What would you like help doing?


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

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We do not have volunteers, we have reserves. If a reserve steps out of line (and trust me they have) they are asked to not return. In my opinion having a non-sworn volunteer seems a bit hinky to me. IF something was to happen.......then what? You are in danger and if you or someone else is hurt you and your department could be in serious trouble. I'm sorry but I just don't see it as being fiscally feasible if on one hand the department saves money by having volunteers but on the other hand are sued for everything they are worth because someone tried an illegal arrest or (God forbid) someone got hurt or worse. We utilize reserves at their pleasure. Our reserves are never pressured to work or take on an assignment, they do it for the sheer love of the job. That being said, they never go out unarmed, they have vests and if they don't then one is found for them and also.......they are sworn.


You can't cure stupid.

37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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ajsdaddyCCSO says ...



We do not have volunteers, we have reserves. If a reserve steps out of line (and trust me they have) they are asked to not return. In my opinion having a non-sworn volunteer seems a bit hinky to me. IF something was to happen.......then what? You are in danger and if you or someone else is hurt you and your department could be in serious trouble. I'm sorry but I just don't see it as being fiscally feasible if on one hand the department saves money by having volunteers but on the other hand are sued for everything they are worth because someone tried an illegal arrest or (God forbid) someone got hurt or worse. We utilize reserves at their pleasure. Our reserves are never pressured to work or take on an assignment, they do it for the sheer love of the job. That being said, they never go out unarmed, they have vests and if they don't then one is found for them and also.......they are sworn.



I see what you are saying. (Just for the record: The volunteers in my group are mostly hands off, think of it more like a community watch with a radio and some training. We are also never forced to do something we do not want to do.) I really appreciate your feedback.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

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You're welcome. Ready to put your application in with us yet?


You can't cure stupid.

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If you're willing to take dictation and type my reports, then by all means. LOL


I can dig having volunteers in the Office, doing admin type stuff, and assisting with Charity events, and the like, but I think Suiting up, and going out Unarmed to assist (even if you're just an extra set of eyes. Am I right about that?) is painting just as much of a bullseye on you, as it is us. Maybe even more so in a way, due to the fact that you're unarmed, and lets face it, you don't have nearly enough training to defend yourself. Having said that, I'm kinda 50/50 on the idea. I think they're good in certain situautions, but can be determental in others.


I would never be rude or inconsiderate though. That's just assanine.

Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

My department tried the volunteer thing a while back and it didn't really work out.  The ones who stayed were really not worth the time it took to train them.  They were used in the office to do administrative duties, filing,answering phones ect.  Most didn't stick around once the novelty wore off and the ones that did really weren't much of an asset and eventually the program was shelved.   With that being said I think the concept is a good one.  Volunteers could do data entry, filing, and if they have specialized skills like computer nerd they could really be an asset in forensic computer exams and work in identifying suspects in internet schemes ect.  I don't think anyone should ever be sent out into public in a uniform while unarmed.  It's just too dangerous for the volunteer.

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

This idea of the uniformed, unarmed person is interesting. When I was growing up, my father was a paid civilian in the communications department in a major metropolitan police department. He put on a uniform, went to work and came home (thankfully). For many years there wasn't a lot to distinguish it from a sworn officer's uniform--mostly it was the absence of additional hardware or badge. With an unbuttoned jacket, to the untrained eye, it was all but impossible to tell. Later it became more distinguishable (a more prominent patch identifying his role). I don't know what they use today, but when he retired it still was clear he was an employee of the PD--which could ostensibly make him a target on his way to and from work or while on break.


So this was an administrative role, but degree of his risk was reduced because his exposure was limited. The PD was not in a great neighborhood either and he had to park on the street, so there was still risk. 


I'm not sure what my point is either--maybe that volunteers or paid, if civilians are wearing a uniform they are at risk. 


 




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

As I have posted elsewhere, while volunteers maty be useful, i feel that working on the streets is a dangerous way for them to go, unless with an armed officer.  Maybe we could get some input from BrooklinHillsCop, I think he was and maybe still is a auxillary (unarmed) for NYPD.

Mr-natural_1__max50

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TLeeworth says ...



As I have posted elsewhere, while wolunteers maty be useful, i feel that working on the streets is a dangerous way for them to go, unless with an armed officer.  Maybe we wuld get some input form BrooklinHillsCop, I think he was and maybe still is a auxillary (unarmed) for NYPD.



I was thinking the same thing, T.




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Jeffmetro_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thanks for serving us. In the coming months, your dedication to duty will be more important than ever as more and more people take to the streets to protest whatever crosses their minds. I urge all LEOs to take a look at the OathKeepers.org and see if you wish to be a member.


Now for the topic at hand. Has anyone considered that there are thousands of good citizens out there who would volunteer to assist their local police in any capacity? There are administrators, receptionists, mechanics, nurses, farmers and Pastors. There is every profession under the sun filled with people who would be willing to volunteer their spare time, effort and lives to help their police keep our communities safe from criminal activities and those activities that prevent families from raising their children in a positive atmosphere.


If the Police Chief or top Criminal Justice Administrator maintains a "them vs us" mentality in their department, regardless of public policy, the community is going to respond with the same attitude toward the Police.  Successful policing involves both LEOs and the public..The budgetary problems concerning reserves and the costs associated with it, would be resolved by thinking "outside the box" by taking in volunteers who have a certifiable record of recent (last 2 years?) a attendence in a Citizen Police Academy. Does a citizen need a background check prior to attending the CPA?  Only those volunteers who have attended a CPA and are authorized by their state to carry a concealed weapon be allowed to accompany an officer in a cruiser, bike or on foot during a patrol. An armed volunteer???!!!!  Why not? In most states now, officers are surrounded by the public carrying concealed weapons. Fortunately, most of them are legal and have taken the Federal and State mandated course. Many are resigned Police officers, Marines and other military vets. At little cost, these kinds of men and women can be trained to assist active duty officers during patrol. 


A volunteer who is not willing to provide their onw uniforms, equipment and signature on a legal form absolving the agency from liability for injury need not apply. I would and assure you that there are thousand of people who would as well. Why? Because we all know it is time to step up and toe the line.  The forces of evil are aligned against the people of good now more than ever before. Everyone with any sense of morality and decency knows the time has come to begin making a stand against all that threatens their individual sovereign liberty. We are willing to die for all those things that make us who we are.


Again, Be Safe Out There! We depend on you to stop them, so we don't have to do it.


 


 

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TLeeworth says ...



As I have posted elsewhere, while volunteers maty be useful, i feel that working on the streets is a dangerous way for them to go, unless with an armed officer.  Maybe we could get some input from BrooklinHillsCop, I think he was and maybe still is a auxillary (unarmed) for NYPD.



 


Thanks for requesting my modest input.
Yes, I was an NYPD Auxiliary for nearly 15 years. No, I am no longer affiliated with the NYPD Auxiliary Program. But thanks to my service in the Auxiliary and my scientific education I have a full time position now that I prefer not to disclose here. I received my Honorable Discharge with the rank of LT, as second in Command.
I have mixed feelings about the NYPD Auxiliary these days. I come from the “old school” when Auxiliaries where part of the good guys… The same band of brothers… When our service, and specially to have the B….  to go out there and patrol the streets of NY without a gun and wearing a Uniform that is almost indistinguishable from that of a regular officer…That was very much recognized by everyone… No bad guy out there will stop to look at the top of your patch to see the word “auxiliary”…
I made countless collars… Quality collars, no BS collars… With a wooden nightstick and a pair of handcuffs as the only weapons… I received plenty of recognition from the NYPD for my service; I have over 30 Commendations and Awards, including Officer of the Year (1991) for that service. Very different from the trend I see today, when it’s all about “Status BS” and the “credentials BS”
No other Agency has more LODD for Auxiliary or Reserve Officers than the NYPD…
All I can say at this point is that the Reserve/Auxiliary Officer is still alive and well inside me… I may no longer be part of this fine group of brothers and sisters, but my hat is off to all of them, from any Department or Agency, because I know what it takes to do so…. All too well…!!!


"We are all ignorant, but we do not ignore the same things"
Albert Einstein, about the Copenhagen Interpretation.
“It has to be right, because it works so well. As per the nature of it, I make no hypothesis”
Sir Isaac Newton, regarding the Laws of Motion.

Nag_max50

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The department I interned at a few years ago, has 400 volunteers split into two groups. They have there own cars, and could give citations for any non moving voilation. They also went out on the water. 


http://www.mydelraybeach.com/Delray/Departments/Police/Community+Involvement/Volunteer+Program.htm

Bronzestarribbon_max50

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Greetings Rach,


My full time agency does not have volunteers, but they have a Reserve Division and we used to have an Explorer Post, but a new Sheriff and no one to take charge of the post, so it went under.  Our PD has and utilizes volunteers for community events and special circumstances.  They are what yours sound like, they come out and go around and render assistance and are present at community events.  The program appears to be a good one, but I do not know if they get involved in training for scenarios like what you guys participated in?


They get some training because I see them out driving unmarked city vehicles and they assist citizens during the hot months and the cold months with things, but I can't speak on them much more except to say its a good idea and I think it would be great to have one at our County level.  Perhaps there is an issue with sponsorship and or insurance and them being put in hazardous situations?


At my part-time job we only have Cadets, they are college students, primarily CJ Students that are out on patrols around campus and assist officers on their beats and work events.  They do not carrying a firearm but carry a baton and receive all of the DT  Training, Police training, except full blown academy and they wear a uniform, but its a different color than the sworn officer's uniforms.  Still though, no volunteers working with us either.


I would like to see something like that at the county, but again, it may be an administrative nightmare?  How does your program work?

French_chopper_seat_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Not sure if I'm correct in this assumption (which is not good to make in LE work regardless, LOL) but I think Rach is referring to volunteers who assist with various funtions within, or in connection with, an LE agency, NOT necessarily the Reserves or Auxiliaries, who perform LE-specific duties.


My first agency where I started in the mid-90's had what they called a "Citizen's Academy," which was designed to educate and inform the average (but highly motivated) private members of the community on what the agency's mission statement was, on many of the agency's policies and procedures, and how they could gather intelligence and teach others in their respective neighborhoods how to share and relate information to the PD. (That first agency, BTW, had several nationally-recognized programs, some of which were funded by state and federal grants, such as the in-school suspension "boot camp" run by a former member on my patrol squad; although, I'm not quite sure if the Citizen's Academy program is still active at this time, considering all the budget cuts across the nation.) 


If it is this type of volunteer program to which you are inquiring, Rach, drop me a message and I can refer you to a couple contacts at my old PD who might be of assistance. You might also send an email to Maricopa County (AZ) SO, where the "America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio still utilizes the volunteer Posse Program -- which reportedly has over 3,000 members in its current ranks. Maybe these are a couple resources which could help you find the info you are seeking..

37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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ajsdaddyCCSO says ...



You're welcome. Ready to put your application in with us yet?



Bit of a drive for me. Sure! haha


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this. I got very busy with work. Thank you all for your input. Does it matter to any of you who find it dangerous, that our uniforms are completely different from an officer? I could post a picture if you are interested. Do you think that would decrease the danger?


BSL : Yes, we are mostly an extra set of eyes. We do get out and talk with people on some calls.


mmmm: Why were they not worth the time? What could they have done to help out more?


mz66: We have different pants, different shirt (also a separate color), distinctive patches, and when they are ordered, badges that display 'Volunteer' in large text. Not all of the volunteer programs use the same items we use.


TLeeworth: I appreciate your input. Thank you.


Ex_Liontamer: I am sure it has been realized, or I would not be in the program I am in. I have not met anyone with the "Us vs. Them" mentality. Perhaps just a little reluctant to release potentially damaging information to just anybody, and with good reason.


BrooklynHillsCop: I appreciate your input, but I pretty sure what you did and what I do are not the same. You were fully trained and certified right? The program I am in is just civilian volunteers with a very short version of the academy tailored to what we do.


bsears: Very cool! Thank you for the link! Did you learn how the officers responded to them?


csiguy: The program the PD uses sounds a lot like what we do. Would you mind PMing me what department that is, so I can look it up? I will PM you some links and contacts about the program if you are interested.


mitrocop: Your assumption is correct. :-) We attending something like a citizen's academy (volunteer academy) with more targeted training and several hour lecture from the lawyer that I can sum up in one word, "NO!" haha. What we do sounds very similar to what you are talking about. I will send you a PM, thank you.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

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Rache  the officers got along great with the volunteers. Also, one officer from the department over saw  all the the volunteers.  It did help that the volunteers could issue citations for any non moving violation, so it freed up the officers time.

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Rache, Don't take my comments to mean you shouldn't volunteer, i just tend to error on the side of safety (officer/volunteer safety), even for an officer, the vast majority of thei time a firearm isn't needed, it's just that there is no substitute for a firearm when one is needed.

Nag_max50

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I also forgot the volunteers had uniforms, cars, everything provided by the department.  They did receive some training from the department. I'm not sure how much has changed, since it was several years ago when I interned at the department.

Mr-natural_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

How much training reserves get runs the gamut--which is a shame, since these people are putting themselves at risk for no compensation. Some (like CA) have the same requirements as regular officers, while others offer just a bit more than community education programs. I'm sure most people would agree (at least those who find reserve officer programs valuable): more training/resources/support for volunteers is a good thing.


NRLO: Training Authorities


RS: Yes, I realize you're talking about more specialized roles. Keep us posted how things are working out. It sounds interesting.




Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

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Thanks for mentioning the NRLO Association... I was a proud member for years, and I am -still- a guest Editor... 


"We are all ignorant, but we do not ignore the same things"
Albert Einstein, about the Copenhagen Interpretation.
“It has to be right, because it works so well. As per the nature of it, I make no hypothesis”
Sir Isaac Newton, regarding the Laws of Motion.

Stevework8079_max50

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Our department had full time officers, p/t officers who attended the police academy and were certified, sworn officers who had the same training as full time officers and paid very little for patrol, and volunteer auxiliary officers who were trained by the department, armed but not sworn, unpaid and had no power of arrest unless directed to by the full time or p/t officer.  They were a valuable asset to the department and to the officer they rode with.  Most of us wanted an auxiliary riding along with us.  Then in the 80's, state law changed and auxiliaries were required to be graduates of the academy, since the law required that anyone that was armed and/or had the power of arrest be a certified academy graduate.  Their uniforms were a different color, as were the shoulder patches and badge but most people did not notice it.  The auxiliary function died out because very few people could afford the time and expense of 800+ hours of unpaid training, and unarmed auxiliaries meant that we had to be concerned with their safety as well as our own.  For the most part, I liked having an auxiliary in my cruiser.

Nothing_worth_dying_for_sign_max50

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Our former Sheriff was 100% supportive of the Reserves. We attend  in-service training, have a state-certified FTO, qualify on the range, wear the exact same uniform, and have assigned take-home units. We have real respect for our Deputies and get respect back in return. Our county is geographically huge and typically there are 5 deputies and 2 or 3 Reserves, a 50% boost in manpower. Our biggest problem is the state and county mandate all kinds of 8-hour training . Some of it is necessary but there is a limit to how much time can be donated.


THE BAD: As we all know, liability is almost paralyzing everything we do. A state law that requires Reserve Deputies be full-time, paid officers in order to issue traffic citations or make DUI arrests. That doesn't mean we can't detain the DUI suspects but we can only give verbal warnings. We can stop and check warrants and driver status.  After FTO, the Reserve Deputies are autonomus.


THE GOOD: Working along side some of the finest LEO's in existience. We have a commitment of full support from the Sheriff, a uniform allowance, and mutual respect from full-time Deputies and city police officers. It has been in exisetence for over 17 years.

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bsears says ...



Rache  the officers got along great with the volunteers. Also, one officer from the department over saw  all the the volunteers.  It did help that the volunteers could issue citations for any non moving violation, so it freed up the officers time.



That is good to hear!


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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TLeeworth says ...



Rache, Don't take my comments to mean you shouldn't volunteer, i just tend to error on the side of safety (officer/volunteer safety), even for an officer, the vast majority of thei time a firearm isn't needed, it's just that there is no substitute for a firearm when one is needed.



No worries, I did not take it that way.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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mz66 says ...



How much training reserves get runs the gamut--which is a shame, since these people are putting themselves at risk for no compensation. Some (like CA) have the same requirements as regular officers, while others offer just a bit more than community education programs. I'm sure most people would agree (at least those who find reserve officer programs valuable): more training/resources/support for volunteers is a good thing.


NRLO: Training Authorities


RS: Yes, I realize you're talking about more specialized roles. Keep us posted how things are working out. It sounds interesting.



Will do!


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

37708_1589462055203_1195388168_1632513_308532_n_max50

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wisecop says ...



Our department had full time officers, p/t officers who attended the police academy and were certified, sworn officers who had the same training as full time officers and paid very little for patrol, and volunteer auxiliary officers who were trained by the department, armed but not sworn, unpaid and had no power of arrest unless directed to by the full time or p/t officer.  They were a valuable asset to the department and to the officer they rode with.  Most of us wanted an auxiliary riding along with us.  Then in the 80's, state law changed and auxiliaries were required to be graduates of the academy, since the law required that anyone that was armed and/or had the power of arrest be a certified academy graduate.  Their uniforms were a different color, as were the shoulder patches and badge but most people did not notice it.  The auxiliary function died out because very few people could afford the time and expense of 800+ hours of unpaid training, and unarmed auxiliaries meant that we had to be concerned with their safety as well as our own.  For the most part, I liked having an auxiliary in my cruiser.



Thank you very much for your comments.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis

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wayneAST says ...



Our former Sheriff was 100% supportive of the Reserves. We attend  in-service training, have a state-certified FTO, qualify on the range, wear the exact same uniform, and have assigned take-home units. We have real respect for our Deputies and get respect back in return. Our county is geographically huge and typically there are 5 deputies and 2 or 3 Reserves, a 50% boost in manpower. Our biggest problem is the state and county mandate all kinds of 8-hour training . Some of it is necessary but there is a limit to how much time can be donated.


THE BAD: As we all know, liability is almost paralyzing everything we do. A state law that requires Reserve Deputies be full-time, paid officers in order to issue traffic citations or make DUI arrests. That doesn't mean we can't detain the DUI suspects but we can only give verbal warnings. We can stop and check warrants and driver status.  After FTO, the Reserve Deputies are autonomus.


THE GOOD: Working along side some of the finest LEO's in existience. We have a commitment of full support from the Sheriff, a uniform allowance, and mutual respect from full-time Deputies and city police officers. It has been in exisetence for over 17 years.



That sounds great. Thank you for sharing.


Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.- C.S. Lewis