The Provo Police Department began participating in the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program under the direction of Chief Rick Gregory in 2011. Since that time, many Provo citizens have donated their time and expertise to the Provo Police Department with the overall goal of improving quality of life in Provo.
The national VIPS program is a locally driven measure that provides community members the opportunity to offer their time and unique talents to their local law enforcement agency. For the last eight years, volunteers have been helping Provo Police in patrol support (uniformed mobile patrol in a marked police volunteer vehicle), Explorer Post (ages 14-21), Mobile Watch (similar to the Neighborhood Watch program), Victim Services, and Citizens Academy.
Volunteers can be an important part of any organization; however, they have proven themselves a particularly valuable asset to our police department. In 2018, these community members donated a total of 2,549.25 hours. The national volunteer value per hour is $24.69, which makes the total value of donated hours in 2018 alone $62,948.98!
While several community members throughout Provo have donated their valuable talents and service, we would like to highlight Justin Edwards as an example. Justin has been a VIPS member from the beginning of the program, helping with patrol support. In those eight years, Justin has been a part of 5,570 different calls for service and has located five stolen vehicles and a missing child. In 2018, Justin donated 1,117.5 hours! Thank you for your service Justin!
Besides the value of their time and talents, volunteers provide another bridge between the police department and the community. The VIPS program is essentially an extension of the Provo Police Department’s commitment to community policing. The Provo Police Department’s mission statement is, “We work with citizens to improve quality of life, solve problems, safeguard liberties and stop crime. We provide proactive police service in a professional and compassionate manner.” Working alongside volunteers helps the police department to strengthen those relationships with our community.
All volunteers receive training and clear instruction on participation and responsibilities with the police department. Anyone interested in learning more about serving as a police volunteer can follow this link: https://www.provo.org/city-services/new-provo-police/join-our-team.