U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Volunteer Programs: Enhancing Public Safety by Leveraging Resources: A Resource Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies

NCJ Number
Date Published
84 pages
This document is a resource guide intended for use by sheriffs, chiefs of police, and other law enforcement officials at the State and local levels who are interested in establishing or enhancing volunteer programs within their agencies.
Volunteer programs within State and local law enforcement agencies serve multiple functions. The programs allow the agencies and their officers to focus on policing and enforcement functions by providing the agencies with supplemental and/or support services. In addition, the programs create valuable ties between police officers and members of the community. This guide was developed through the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program, a program managed and implemented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. The guide is intended for use by chiefs of police, sheriffs, and other law enforcement officials interested in developing or improving volunteer programs to maximize existing resources and enhance public safety. Information for the guide was gathered from VIPS program Web sites, site visits to agencies with existing programs, surveys, and conversations with law enforcement officials, volunteers, and volunteer coordinators throughout the United States. The guide is divided into 2 main parts: Part I contains 9 sections on enhancing or establishing a volunteer program; and Part II describes the specific components of 18 separate law enforcement volunteer programs in California, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, and Virginia.