April 21 through 27 is National Volunteer Week, a time to thank and recognize volunteers for their contributions. Law enforcement volunteers are a unique set of dedicated individuals supporting their local officers and helping keep their communities safe. What better way to understand the range of volunteer duties and the depth of skills than by meeting a few of our law enforcement volunteers active in the field?
Tina Duresky – Avondale, Arizona, Police Department (APD) – Tina received her Arizona Police Officer Training and Standards (AZPOST) certification so that she could teach law enforcement personnel basic sign language and effective ways to communicate with the deaf. Tina is the first deaf police volunteer to receive AZPOST accreditation in the state of Arizona. The training for Avondale officers was so successful that she was asked to give the training at the Arizona Black Law Enforcement Conference.
Jim McNally – Aurora, Colorado, Police Department (APD) – Jim was the only non-staff participant in an eight-hour training on APD’s new composite software. When a request comes in from the crime lab, Jim meets with the witness or victim one-on-one to develop a composite drawing. He has submitted 35 sketches to APD detectives. The first composite drawing Jim created led APD officers to arrest a suspect charged with robbery and kidnapping within two weeks. He now trains other volunteers on using the software and conducting interviews.
Donna Spiewak – Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department (FCPD) – Shortly after retiring from an over 30-year career in federal and military law enforcement, Donna came on as a volunteer with The City of Falls Church Police Department where she worked on the video red light program and state accreditation process while also volunteering with the FCPD conducting an overtime hours assessment, and photographing department events. Donna’s primary role is that of Director of the VIPS Program with FCPD. She is responsible for vetting and managing 100 volunteers assigned throughout the department. Donna also serves at the VIPS State Advocate to help increase communication between VIPS Programs in Virginia.
You can read more about these and other volunteers on the VIPS in Action page of the Volunteers in Police Service website – http://www.policevolunteers.org/. If you would like to submit a volunteer profile or discuss volunteer program questions, contact Jennifer Styles at 1-800-THE-IACP, ext. 804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.