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January 28, 2009 > Be a Citizen Volunteer

Be a Citizen Volunteer

By Meenu Gupta

The Milpitas Police Department Citizen Volunteer Program is looking for new Citizen Volunteers. The hiring process consists of an interview and application process. Those interested in volunteering must be in good physical health, must have good vision, must be at least 21 years old, have an ability to operate a vehicle, possess a valid California driver's license, and pass a limited background check.

This program, which started in 2002, had its name changed from the Senior Volunteer Program to Citizen Volunteer program in December 2008. So along with the name change came the change in age requirement. The program used to require volunteers be aged fifty and over. The purpose was to increase the potential volunteer pool for the police department.

Citizen volunteers perform several duties like Great Mall Storefront Volunteer, Fingerprint Technician, Archivist, Records Assistant, Special Events Assistant, Newsletter Editor, Tour Guide Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator, Special Events Photographer, Neighborhood Watch Assistant, Evidence Assistant, Child ID Fingerprinting, and Crime Prevention Assistant.

They get training through the P.A.C.E.S. (Police And Community Educational Seminars) course and receive job specific training depending on the duties they perform. The P.A.C.E.S. program, also known as Citizen's Academy, offers to examine the inner working of the police department. The volunteers are generally assigned regular assignments. There are some special assignments such as assisting with D.U.I. checkpoints, pedestrian decoy program, National Night Out, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduations, and any other special events that may arise during the year.

"Last year we celebrated the program's fifth anniversary. Originally the program started with eighteen volunteers. We have since grown to twenty-five volunteers, nine of whom began the program in 2002. We have added several assignments for the volunteers over the last five years and are always researching new duties," said Officer John Buchanok.

"The Citizen Volunteer Program was issued grant money earlier this year to purchase two new Child ID Computer Systems with the C.O.P.S. 2008 Grant. These new computer systems will allow the volunteers to expand their fingerprinting program and provide better service to the community" Officer Buchanok.

Since the beginning of the program in 2002, the Citizen Volunteers have volunteered over 24,000 hours to the Police Department and community. They have also fingerprinted over 22,000 children since the inception of the Child ID Fingerprinting Program.

If anybody meets the qualifications and desires to volunteer, please contact Officer John Buchanok at (408) 586-2538.

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