Volunteers Support the Largo Police Department
The Largo Police Department has a corps of volunteers that have selflessly dedicated their time and efforts to help the Largo community. The Largo Police Department's Volunteers in Policing program began in 1997, when its first academy class graduated and enabled citizens from Largo’s community the ability to give back.
Since the inaugural academy class there have been 10 subsequent volunteer academy classes. This year the police department will host another volunteer police academy to bring on board new volunteers.
Two types of volunteers help out with the day-to-day operations of the Largo Police Department; Support Volunteers and Patrol Volunteers. Support Volunteers are assigned to divisions within the police building to provide technical and non-technical support. Assigned duties include filing, micro-filming, data-entry, copying, translation, victim call backs, statistical reports and program administration. Patrol Volunteers utilize specially marked VIP patrol cars to provide support service on the street which do not require a sworn officers presence. Assigned duties for patrol volunteers include directing traffic, assisting citizens with disabled vehicles, speed trailer deployment, vacation home watch checks, parking enforcement, and transporting victims and witnesses.
The Volunteers In Policing program is an integral part of Largo’s police department. During the 2008 year, the corps of volunteers provided over 10,000 hours of support (10,028.5 hours to be exact). In an economy where fiscal responsibility is a must, having a corps of dedicated volunteers is a definite leg up. How much do all of these hours equate to? By using the base rate of pay of a starting police officer at $19.66 per hour, the total savings to the Largo Police Department would be $197,160.31!!
As previously stated the role of the volunteer is multifaceted. During 2008, Largo Police Department volunteers supported 65 special events and assisted patrol officers during 17 traffic control incidents. They were also responsible for the issuance of 333 parking citations.
The Largo Police Department understands and appreciates the role of its volunteers. Volunteers are recognized by their peers, co-workers and command staff for certain volunteer hour milestones. Their first recognition comes at 500 hours of volunteer work and the next at 1000 hours. Each subsequent 1000 hours of volunteer service is also recognized. In the upcoming weeks Largo Police Department will be honoring one of its newest volunteers for their 500th hour of volunteer service and another of its volunteers who is working on their 11,000th hour of volunteer service.
The next Volunteers In Policing Academy will be held within the next couple of months. Currently the department is seeking to fill slots in the upcoming volunteer academy. Anyone interested in becoming a patrol volunteer can contact the Largo Police Department's Volunteer Coordinator, Wil Tripoli at (727) 587-6739. They can also find information by going to the City of
Largo's website at www.largo.com and then going to the Police Department's link.
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