City of Malibu and LASD Seek Applicants for Volunteers on Patrol Program
• Participants Act as 'Eyes and Ears' for Lost Hills Station
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
The City of Malibu and the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station are seeking volunteers to help the sheriff's department to keep an eye on things in Malibu.
At the December 13 regular city council meeting, the council approved the implementation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Volunteers on Patrol program for Malibu.
The council agreed with the recommendation of the Public Safety Commission that the VOP program would provide a benefit to the city's public safety efforts.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will train prospective VOP participants. The city is responsible for supplying vehicles and uniforms.
"The VOP program was created by the sheriff's department to allow civilian volunteers to help the department achieve its goals while helping to serve and protect the local community," a press release states. "As the 'eyes and ears' for the department, VOP members help identify suspicious activities, crimes in progress or other dangerous circumstances and notify the authorities for proper handling."
To be considered for the VOP program, applicants must complete a detailed application and be subject to a background check. If accepted, applicants must complete a LASD training program and commit to a minimum of sixteen hours per month, as well as attend scheduled, mandatory or emergency meetings.
According to the application packet, volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, must live or work within the City of Malibu, must not have been convicted of a felony crime or certain misdemeanor crimes, must have a valid California driver license, must be emotionally stable, must not be addicted to any legal or illegal substance including alcohol, or prescription drugs, and cannot have any physical disability that would create a danger to the volunteer or others while completing tasks. Disabled volunteers could be utilized in specified and designated duties other than patrol.
"We're looking for energetic people who are willing to put in 16 hours a month," Lost Hills Sheriff's Department representative Deputy Shawn Brownell told the Malibu Surfside News. "Shifts would be four to six hours. Volunteers are paired up and sent out in teams," Brownell explained, adding that most patrols would be scheduled during the day.
"Volunteers on Patrol have various responsibilities, primarily non-hazardous duties, which have traditionally been performed by patrol deputies," the information packet states. "This program; therefore, allows patrol deputies to perform the more hazardous duties that they have been trained to do, thus helping the department to better achieve its goal of serving the community."
Duties could include searching for missing children, patrolling the community for criminal activity or safety hazards, conducting school, park and shopping center safety checks, conducting residential vacation checks, patrolling for graffiti and property damage, performing fire watch, conducting traffic control, assisting disabled persons, assisting at sobriety check points, fulfilling requests from city and county services, assisting L.A. Sheriff's Training Academy role-playing, when requested.
All volunteers in the program will work in teams of two in conspicuously identified vehicles supplied by the City of Malibu.
Individuals interested in applying for membership in the Malibu VOP program can find additional information, including a VOP application package on the city's website at www.ci.malibu.ca.us