Volunteers in Police Service Add Value While Budgets Decrease

Today more than 2,180 law enforcement agencies across the country have embraced the idea of utilizing volunteers. There are more than 244,000 volunteers participating in activities ranging from checking the security of vacationing residents’ homes to assisting in solving cold cases. According to Bernard Melekian, former Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services,“[There is a] need for a strong partnership with the community that serves as a force multiplier for local agencies and assists in focusing limited police resources where they are needed.” Volunteers can be that force multiplier for agencies. This document introduces various tools and resources the IACP offers to assist in creating a volunteer program or expanding and formalizing an existing volunteer program. To help agencies think creatively about potential volunteer roles, this publication highlights innovative ways agencies around the country are engaging citizens and increasing their reach in the community.

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