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What is VIPS?

The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program is a national program which provides support and resources for law enforcement agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for community members who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a community law enforcement agency. Local VIPS programs offer direct volunteer opportunities and conduct their own screening, recruitment, and placement.     

Since September 11, 2001, the demands on state and local law enforcement have increased dramatically. As a result, the already limited resources of these agencies are being stretched further than ever, at a time when the country needs every available officer out on the beat.

In many jurisdictions around the country, volunteers in the community have offered their time and skills services to law enforcement agencies. These citizen volunteers help supplement and support officers and civilian personnel by allowing them to concentrate on their primary duties. Volunteer roles may include performing clerical tasks, serving as an extra set of "eyes and ears," assisting with search and rescue activities, and traffic control at various community functions.

The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers.

Through this program, the VIPS staff seeks to

    • learn about promising practices being used in existing VIPS programs and share this information with law enforcement agencies that want to expand their programs,
    • increase the use of volunteers in existing programs,
    • help citizens learn about and become involved in VIPS programs in their communities, and
    • help agencies without volunteer programs get them started.

















Origin of the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program

President George W. Bush created USA Freedom Corps (USAFC) to build on the countless acts of service, sacrifice, and generosity that followed September 11. When he announced USAFC in his 2002 State of the Union address, he called on all Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves.

Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.

Citizen Corps partner programs build on the successful efforts in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) is one of five Citizen Corps partner programs. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages and implements the VIPS Program in partnership with, and on behalf of, the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

How to Get Involved With VIPS

For a law enforcement agency to register as a VIPS program, volunteers must work directly within the agency through an in-house volunteer program or with an organization operating in concert with a law enforcement agency, such as a citizens’ police academy alumni association or a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), to place volunteers. 

To register or if you have any questions, please call 

City of Williamsport EMA at 329-3820 

Williamsport Bureau of Police at 327-7539.  

All applicants for this class will have a free background check completed by the Williamsport Bureau of Police.