“To join with” means that our residents and businesses are at the heart of what we do, and it is our responsibility to respond to our community’s needs.
It also means we partner with our residents in more concrete ways, including through the dedicated service of those who participate on our many boards and commissions, and through volunteer opportunities.
One of our most active and visible partners are our Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), a program comprised of local volunteers committed to serving the city. As a Concord Police Department workgroup, the VIPS adhere to the same vision and commitment to integrity and service that govern other police department members.
In April 1988, the Concord Police Department initiated a formal police volunteer program. Prior to that, there were only a few community members assisting the department on an informal, limited basis. However, Police Department staff wanted to provide additional services to the public and improve internal operations beyond the level that paid staffing allowed.
A volunteer program was launched as part of the Community Relations & Crime Prevention Unit, and the VIPS program was born. By 1989, there were 12 VIPS who performed a variety of tasks directly assisting police operations. This early success laid the foundation for future program expansion.
Today, VIPS has more than 30 active volunteers who assist with public events in Concord, such as the annual Emergency Preparedness Fair, Holiday Tree Lighting and National Night Out.
The program’s highest trained volunteers carry out patrols several times each week to conduct vacation house checks – a free service to residents who are out of town, report abandoned shopping carts and check the automatic flashing traffic signals throughout the city.
Volunteers assist staff at PD’s public counter, prepare domestic violence resource materials for distribution to victims of abuse, and organize information packets on the city’s security alarm registration requirements, which are mailed to residents.
From January through Aug. 31, 2022, our VIPS have contributed more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service to the city.
On behalf of our City Council, Police Department and all city staff, I thank them for their dedication to our community and our mission.
Those interested in applying to participate in the VIPS program can find an application online at www.cityofconcord.org/VIPS. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and participate in an interview, background check and orientation.
I encourage anyone who is interested in this program to learn more about it. And I hope that all of our residents will consider what role they want to play in fulfilling our collective mission and joining with us to make Concord a city of the highest quality.
Email questions and comments to Concord’s mayor at Dominic.Aliano@cityofconcord.org