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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Ideas / Suggestions for Volunteer Projects that Don't Require PD Supervision?

    I know I'm kinda hung up about this.... but, I'll ask anyway... Hey I'm VP now, I gotta earn my keep

    Do any of you guys have some suggestions for community crime-prevention projects that our little CPA Alumni group could be involved in, that's harmeless enough that the PD wouldn't get mad at us just doing on our own without their advice & consent?

    I was thinking maybe that's part of our problem in getting them to buy into anything meaningful (except the typical stuff like child ID, handing out gun locks, fundraisers, and that kinda stuff), they just don't really have time to spend messing with us, and if we ask them, they automatically feel obligated to lead it.

    Personally, if it were up to me I'd start the Citizen Patrols without even involving them, but I suspect that the Chief would get mad at that and they may withdraw their support on other things, given his strong words on the subject last year - so I'd probably get voted down (even though legally we could even do armed patrols if we wanted to - that would REALLY piss the Chief off ).

    Seriously, I was thinking maybe if we proved we could be trusted not to create problems with the little stuff, that may earn us some brownie points so he may trust us on the big stuff later on... Or we could at least temporarily elude ourselves into thinking he might.

    I've thought of many things, such as traffic speed radar surveys (using their old portable radar guns, and even mailing out warning letters to the worst offenders), handing out handicap parking warnings, open garage door warnings, etc, etc, but the Chief already made it known that he's against all of that for one reason or another when I ran all that stuff by him last year.

    I think he's deathly afraid we'll act like a bunch of Barney Fife's and wind up giving the whole Town warnings whether they deserve it or not - he's probably afraid that he'd get all the blame and be stuck with cleaning up our mess - Of course that COULD happen - No guarantees in this life.

    So anyway, I'm fresh out of ideas. The only VIPS initiative he supports is the Volunteer Chaplains
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    Last edited by TXCharlie; 03-08-06 at 09:02 PM.

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  2. #2
    lesta311's Avatar
    lesta311 is offline Evil is my business.......
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    Citizen patrols aren't a bad idea at all. Especially if you had a patrol car to use and uniforms. It "could" be a reality. Our agency has a citizen patrol program. It's formed of citizens from each police district in our city where they attend a course on crime prevention put on by the police department. Once they finish, they are provided with a special uniform and a marked citizen observer car. They patrol the district and act as observers of their community.

    They also play an intrinsic role in their community. Citizen Patrols are trained in identifying certain things like, homes and businesses that are targets for burglaries, abandoned vehicles, even gang member awareness. Keep in mind that they are just observers but, they identify and address quality of life issuses. These findings are given directly to district commanders who can implement projects to solve these problems.This program has had a tremendous impact on quality of life issues within our city.

    A strong partnership with your police department is the first step in getting the ball rolling. I would discuss the idea with your police department and find out the feasability of it. Here is some info to get started. These are examples of our model you can follow. PM me if anyone has any other questions,



    Citizen Observer WebSite: http://www.citizenobserver.com/cpg.j...geType=cpg.jsp


    Application Form: http://www.pac2durham.com/resources/copapp.doc

    Draw some ideas, make some contacts, and create your own citizen observer patrol.

  3. #3
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Thanks Lesta... I'll definitely study your web site, as I did the VIPS site last year.

    Our PD does say that they support Neighborhood Watch programs, but maybe that's because if those organizations screw up, the PD can't be blamed, and the Watch groups are not very active or organized - In fact, most of the Watch groups are defunct and the only thing left are the street signs and occasional block parties, as far as I can tell.

    We're an independant 501(c)3 organization too, just like the HOA's that run the Watch groups, but I guess if we screwed up the PD would be blamed (guilt by association).
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    Last edited by TXCharlie; 03-08-06 at 08:57 PM.

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  4. #4
    Billiardnut's Avatar
    Billiardnut is offline Attack Pug Dog Handler
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    Arrow

    Some other ideas - you could hand out fingerprint kits. I have seen the kits, they are inkless, intended to be a do-it-yourself deal they seemed to be really nice.

    We got a DNA kit for our daughter shortly after she was hatched. The kit is called DNA LIFEPRINT - their web address is: /www.dna-lifeprint.com

    Neighborhood watches are a real popular program in my county. Usually it takes 1 or 2 visits from our chief deputy or sheriff to introduce the program. From there usually a citizen takes the reins and leads the program. The program is a major PR deal so I cant see any elected office holder griping to much

    Good luck and thanks for your efforts.
    Stay safe,
    B
    Last edited by Billiardnut; 03-12-06 at 05:14 PM.
    Member of the Pervert Patrol - making sure the pervs are tracked and up-to-date.
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  5. #5
    kimby is offline Banned
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    TX, how can you do things without the PD's advice and consent? I thought VIP programs were always under the control of the PD. Just wondering how it works.

  6. #6
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimby
    TX, how can you do things without the PD's advice and consent? I thought VIP programs were always under the control of the PD. Just wondering how it works.
    I was just speaking legally - Technically we're an independant organization so we could form our own patrol group if we wanted to - It would not have to be recognized by VIPS or the PD. At times that's the only way, if the PD is so afraid of liability that they don't want to belly up to the bar and supervise it.

    To be honest, the PD has NEVER told me that they would not support us in principle if we did that, they've only laid out reasons why the Chief is against it, based fear of liability for fear of what some bad apple "might" do, even though historically bad apples in citizens patrols just have not been a great problem around here - Especially when the PD supervises and selects the volunteers.

    They have flatly refused to supervise us or give us advice on how to make it a success if we did do it, because that would open them up to vicarious liability (legally that means that if they play any part in it whatsoever, then they would be liable even if someone did something stupid against patrol rules).

    It's a shame that the tort laws allow that to happen. I'm sure there would be a lot more volunteerism if everyone were just held responsible for their own actions, and not blamed for the actions of others.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 03-13-06 at 11:26 AM.

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  7. #7
    Virginian's Avatar
    Virginian is offline Major
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    What about some kind of motorist assistance and/or accident scene safety stuff? We have motorist assistance patrols who help out stranded vehicles with a jump start or gas, and have yellow lights on their vehicles for safety. They also place flares at accident scenes and help direct traffic.

  8. #8
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    That was on my list of things that I submitted to the PD last year, but they rejected it... And it's illegal to respond to accident scenes overheard on the scanner without their buy-in.

    Although they could have REALLY used our help this weekend - They had a head-on collision on a major 2-lane highway, and from what I heard on my scanner, it didn't sound like they had enough cops to block all the feeder roads off - so they had a tremendous mess and the emergency vehicles had trouble getting through, but all we could do was sit there & listen to it happening

    I don't know, maybe by the time we responded to the call-out, we'd have trouble getting to the scene too, and of course the dispatchers would have had to coordinate us so each of us could go directly to our assigned intersections - I don't know if they have enough dispatchers to do that while directing emergency traffic, either - I seriously doubt it, because it doesn't seem like it takes much for them to become overloaded.

    I think in a area-wide disaster, we'd be screwed because there's very little reserve to call upon if our Mutual Aid partners were busy with their own problems. Many of our police officers live out of town, so the off-duty personel may not even be able to make it to town if traffic becomes snarled.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 03-13-06 at 01:55 PM.

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  9. #9
    kimby is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    It's a shame that the tort laws allow that to happen. I'm sure there would be a lot more volunteerism if everyone were just held responsible for their own actions, and not blamed for the actions of others.
    I agree. Thanks for explaining.

 

 

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