VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) Program
The department’s VIPS program was established in 2002 to provide services to the citizens and guests of Wenatchee for the betterment of the entire community. The program also serves to aid the Police Department in its mission to protect life and property, to preserve peace and order, and to reduce crime. The volunteers that make up the membership of the VIPS program begin their volunteer service by attending the Citizens’ Academy. After choosing to become a member of the VIPS Unit, and after undergoing a background investigation by the department, members are trained in various functions that benefit the department and community. The VIPS assignments are designed to assist regular patrol with some of the issues that do not require a police commission.
Some of the VIPS functions include:
Patrol of suspicious activity: Patrol volunteers are trained in areas of safety, patrol procedures and communications, and are equipped with a police radio, cellular phone, flashlight, binoculars, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and reflective traffic vests. Patrol volunteers serve as support to the Police Department and function as a visible deterrent to crime.
VIPS patrol duties include:
- Check apartment complexes and other noted vehicle prowl areas
Provide courtesy rides for victims of crimes and accidents
Locate and photograph graffiti for the department gang officer
Impound and inventory cars and stand-by for tow companies
Check for malfunctioning street lights and report to Lighting Department
Answer dispatched calls for requests for keys assists
Work with Code Enforcement to identify and report code violations
Provide parking enforcement for residential 24-hour ordinance violations, wrong-way parking violations, fire lane violations, and handicapped parking violations
Retrieve, process and secure found property, including bikes, shopping carts, wallets, purses, syringes and knives
Provide periodic security checks for residents who are on vacation
Provide an extra safety presence when kids are walking to and from school
Provide late-night and early-morning security checks of the Downtown Business District, schools and churches
Direct traffic at major vehicle accidents, fire scenes and other disasters
VIPS non-patrol duties include:
- Assist crime prevention officer by staffing informational booths and bike rodeos
- Work crowd control and man barricades at crime scenes or road closures
- Assist the gang officers, crime prevention officers and detectives with the dissemination of resource information and notices to neighborhoods
- Assist Records Bureau with taking fingerprints
- Work with the gang officers and the crime prevention officer in graffiti removal
- Staff the Police sub-station to help educate and empower youth from at-risk neighborhoods in a safe environment with supervised activities away from gang influence. This provides a chance for positive socialization and mentoring for our youth
- Transport and place the radar trailer at new locations
To become a VIPS member, you must be 18 years of age, a high school graduate, have no felony convictions, have an acceptable criminal record, a good driving record, a good credit history, and have a positive community reputation.
VIPS members must attend monthly meetings and work at one of the assignments listed above for a minimum of four hours each month.
To find out more about becoming a VIPS volunteer, contact Cpl. Erik Vasquez at (509) 888-4292 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.