Sheriff’s patrol for volunteers
visalia – The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) is on the lookout for VIPs. Currently Sheriff Mike Boudreaux is seeking Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) at the TCSO. These valuable VIPs help deter crime as they run errands, check on properties and perform other duties.
The VIPs serve as extra eyes and ears in the community and perform duties that don’t require a sworn officer. They deter crime just by their uniformed presence in the community, Sheriff Boudreaux said.
“We don’t know how many times someone was about to do something criminal and changed his mind because a VIP was on patrol in the county,” he said. “I appreciate their hard work.”
In addition to checking on vacation property and schools, VIPs reach out to the community, paint over graffiti, monitor Project Lifesaver, transport patrol cars, reach out to youth, assist children with court appearances, and help with search and rescue, parades and traffic control.
Typically, VIPs volunteer through a substation near them. They have an elected board and attend monthly meetings under the supervision of Sheriff’s Office patrol lieutenants.
Each new VIP attends a 40-hour VIP Academy which is held on Saturdays. They also go through a background check before they can become a volunteer.
The Sheriff’s Office relies heavily on volunteers, said Lt. Rob Schimpf, who oversees the VIPs.
“Anyone who wants to volunteer would serve as a vital function to the Sheriff’s Office,” he said.
Become a Volunteer in Patrol
Visalia: VIPs meet at 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at headquarters, 2404 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia.
Porterville: VIPs meet at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Porterville Substation, 379 N. 3rd St. Next meeting is Feb. 2.
Pixley: VIPs meet at 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Pixley Substation, 161 N. Pine St. The next meeting is Feb. 15.
Each volunteer is responsible for purchasing a VIP uniform which consists of black pants, white shirt, black shoes and a black jacket with Sheriff’s Office patches on both shoulders.
More information can be found at the Sheriff’s Employee and Public Relations Unit (559) 636-4695 or by locating the web site www.tularecounty.ca.gov/sheriff/index.cfm/administration/recruitment/volunteer-programs/volunteers-in-patrol/
Potential VIPs can print out the form and fill it out by going to www.tularecounty.ca.gov/sheriff/index.cfm/administration/recruitment/volunteer-programs/volunteer-forms/