This paper describes the development and implementation of Citizen Corps under the USA Freedom Corps initiative to coordinate volunteer activities to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to emergency situations.
In 2002, the White House launched the USA Freedom Corps initiative. Part of the initiative was to create Citizen Corps. Citizen Corps creates opportunities for individuals to volunteer to help their communities prepare for and respond to emergencies by bringing together local leaders, citizen volunteers, and the network of first responder organizations, such as fire departments, police departments and emergency medical personnel. The goal of Citizen Corps is to have all citizens participate in making their communities safer, stronger, and better prepared for preventing and handling threats of terrorism, crime, and disasters of all kinds. The Citizen Corps effort will be coordinated at the local level by Citizen Corps Councils, bringing together leaders from the relevant sectors of the community. The President of the United States requested funding from Congress to support and expand Citizen Corps Councils around the country and funds to support the Federal Citizen Corps programs. Citizen Corps programs build on the successful efforts already in place in many communities across the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. This paper is a guide for local officials in the development and implementation of Citizen Corps. The guide is divided into six primary sections: (1) an overview of Citizen Corps; (2) the organizing and responsibilities of Citizen Corps Councils; (3) the development of Citizen Corps; (4) available resources; (5) communicating success; and (6) the Federal and State government roles. Appendices A-D
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