Since September 11, the demands on state and local law enforcement have increased dramatically. As a result, already limited resources are being stretched further at a time when our country needs every available officer out on the beat. Some local police departments are turning to civilian volunteers to supplement their sworn force. These vital efforts will receive new support through the Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS). VIPS draws on the time and considerable talents of civilian volunteers and allows law enforcement professionals to better perform their frontline duties.

The program will provide resources to assist local law enforcement in incorporating community volunteers into the activities of the law enforcement agency. These resources will outline a series of best practices to help state and local law enforcement design strategies to recruit, train, and utilize citizen volunteers in their departments.