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Citizen Corps

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2004
6 pages
This overview of Citizen Corps programs features the Volunteers in Police Service Program and the Neighborhood Watch Program.
Citizen Corps, which is a key part of USA Freedom Corp, was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that make communities stronger and safer. It is coordinated nationally by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is located in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In association with the Citizen Corps, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is managing the Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice. The ultimate goal of VIPS is to enhance the capacity of State and local law enforcement to use volunteers. The centerpiece of this effort is the VIPS Web site (www.policevolunteers.org), which acts as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs. Another program associated with Citizen Corps is the National Neighborhood Watch Program. Administered by the National Sheriffs' Association, this program enlists and trains neighborhood residents to act as "extra eyes and ears" for detecting suspicious activities in their neighborhoods and reporting them to the proper agency. Other Citizen Corps programs that encourage collaboration and volunteerism to enhance preparedness at the national, State, local, and tribal levels are the National Citizen Corps Council; State, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils; Community Emergency Response Teams; Medical Reserve Corps; and the Affiliate Program.