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Aide in Glendale’s DUI Squad Comes in the Form of Volunteers

Flickr User: Code20photog

Glendale resident Joel Davis, 48, has always wanted to be a police officer, but due to poor eyesight, he never got the opportunity to try out.

Now, in his older years, he’s able to get a little bit closer to the Glendale task force.

Davis and more than 110 residents volunteer with the Glendale Police Department, helping out their DUI squad.

Two nights a month, Davis drives the DUI processing van for impaired suspects and performs other support tasks, such as filling out paperwork.

Although the volunteer work is a hobby of sorts for Davis and others, it serves a crucial need for the cash-strapped department.

Last year, volunteers contributed an estimated 22,500 hours or $450,000 worth of labor, according to the agency.

Having volunteers perform routine tasks makes the department more efficient and allows officers to spend their time focusing on core services.

While other cities, such as Phoenix, Avondale, Scottsdale and Mesa, say they are more heavily relying on volunteers amid budget cuts and layoffs, Glendale’s program has gone unchanged.

Glendale has always had a strong police volunteer program, with similarly high numbers of participants offering to help in past years.

The department says they don’t really have to look for volunteers, but rather, people come to them.
And with the proposed lay-offs before the next fiscal year begins July 1, the department hasn’t decided whether volunteers would fill the positions left vacant—as many as 24 of the department’s civilian employees.

Volunteers work in jobs ranging from the crime scene analysis lab to neighborhood outreach programs. It just depends on the department’s need as well as the applicant’s abilities and interests.

Applicants go through an extensive background check and may require training depending on the area they serve in.

Once they get in the door, volunteers can work their way up to more coveted positions. Often, it leads to years of involvement.

If you’re like Joel Davis and want to volunteer to help out your city police department, I’m certain they’d be happy to have your aide. Head down to the department and find out how you can help.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.