Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd invites citizens who are interested in volunteering to attend an upcoming information session regarding the new Volunteer Sheriff’s Service Officer Program
at the Sheriff’s Operations Center, 1891 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven. The information sessions are being held: Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:00 a.m.; Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 2:00 p.m.; and Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 6:00p.m. in the “PROCAP” room (signs will be located at the building entrance).
Questions regarding either the information sessions or this volunteer program may be directed to: Deputy Sheriff J. Allen Barber at 863-298-6687 or email@example.com.
This is a new volunteer program that will utilize citizen volunteers to provide non-emergency law enforcement services that do not require the use of law enforcement authority. Because of the high level of responsibility of these new volunteers, an extensive 120 hour training program (and commitment) will be required.
The program concept is to create a uniformed, unarmed, “eyes and ears” patrol force comprised of volunteer community members seeking an opportunity to assist the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in keeping Polk County a low-crime and high quality-of-life safe place to live. The volunteer program is based upon the current civilian Sheriff’s Service Officer Program, which utilizes non-sworn civilians to conduct a variety of non-emergency law enforcement services.
“This program builds on our highly successful Citizens’ Assisted Patrol (CAP) program. We are broadening the concept of citizen involvement from the neighborhood level to county wide. These citizen volunteers will assist our deputies in many capacities—we are looking forward to building a highly capable group of men and women who will take an active role helping us keep Polk County safe.” — Grady Judd, Sheriff
The new program will provide increased law enforcement visibility, crime prevention, and deterrence through highly visible patrol in marked vehicles and uniformed volunteers. The Volunteers will supplement the sworn deputy sheriff by handling specific calls for service and/or duties not requiring use of law enforcement authority.
Duties will include:
o House checks (vacation, foreclosed, and vacant properties)
o After-hours business and commercial checks and patrol
o Statistically-based neighborhood patrols
o Non-injury traffic crashes
o School zone safety initiatives
o Directed traffic monitoring & patrol assignments (radar surveys)
o Traffic and pedestrian direction/control for traffic accidents and special events
o Stranded motorist assistance
o Neighborhood follow-up after property crimes
o Criminal investigation assistance
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office already has over 3,200 volunteers who volunteer in numerous Sheriff’s Office functions and the Citizen Assisted Patrol (CAP) Program. Volunteers work in: Animal Control, Records, Human Resources, Special Operations, the agency’s Dive Team and Mounted Patrol, the County Jails, Seniors vs. Crime (A cooperative project between the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Attorney General’s Office), volunteer chaplain program, and the Citizen Assisted Patrol (CAP) program.
The CAP program began in 2003. Their motto is “OBSERVE AND REPORT.” There are approximately 3,000 CAP volunteers within 53 communities and on 2 recreational trails. In 2011 they donated more than 100,486 labor hours representing an approximate annual labor savings of $1,746,446. For patrol duties, volunteers use 40 golf carts & 23 patrol cars. They also patrol on foot and by bicycle. Other PCSO volunteers (non-CAP) donated approximately 7,000 hours in 2011.