Beginning in 1995, the Culver City Police Department established the Citizen Volunteer Program. Currently, the program consists of two types of volunteers, the Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) and the Senior Volunteer Program (SVP). Members of both programs are generally Culver City residents who are trained by the Police Department to provide support to both the Department and the Community.
Volunteer members donate hundreds of hours to the Department every month. The programs have not only proven to be effective at impacting crime, but they have strengthened the bond and reaffirmed the partnership between the Police Department and the community.
Before becoming a volunteer member, recruits must undergo a background check and participate in a course of training. There are no requirements other than being in good health and having a strong civic spirit. Present members range in age from college students to senior citizens.
Most importantly, our Citizen Volunteers take great pride in knowing that they truly make a difference in the community, and that their efforts are helping to make Culver City a better place to live, work, and shop.
Volunteers In Patrol
VIP members are often seen throughout the city on bikes in the distinctive uniforms composed of white polo shirts, black shorts, and white helmets
The role of the VIP member is to be the eyes and ears of the Police Department, in a sense, a Neighborhood Watch on wheels. The VIP members are not police officers, and are armed only with cellular phones and a police portable radio. If a crime or other problem is observed the member immediately calls the Culver City Police Department and a police unit is sent.
The VIP’s main goal is to deter crime by showing their presence in both the residential and commercial parts of the city, as well to have a positive impact on quality of life issues.
Some of their duties include reporting graffiti and other public nuisances such as unsightly trash, abandoned vehicles, and transient encampments. They also provide vacation checks of residents and businesses, foot patrols, park patrols, and assist with special events. Additionally, they provide the public with general information about the Police Department and city services. The VIP’s also support the Police Department by doing various clerical duties.
In the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, flood, or major fire, members can be called out to help. In addition, the entire membership meets one evening every month for training.
The program has been very well received by both residents and business owners.
The VIP program is looking to expand its membership in order to organize a successful business watch program. Currently, members assist the Neighborhood Watch coordinator with meetings and the dissemination of bulletins to the community.
Senior Volunteer Program
The main goal of the Senior Volunteer Program is to assist the Police Department with clerical duties such as filing, data entry, and scanning documents.
This program is vital to the Police Department’s consistent success in our Investigations Section. One of their main functions is to input and maintain the Department’s Field Interview (FI) cards in our Record Management System. Detectives use this system to identify suspects in crimes. It has proven to be a valuable tool in criminal investigations and has contributed tremendously to the Department’s apprehension and case clearance rates.
Please, contact Lieutenant Troy Dunlap at (310) 253-6258 for additional information.