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Police Need Volunteers for Citizen Patrol Program

The Temple Terrace Police Department is starting a volunteer program that will help officers.

If you’ve ever wanted to help fight crime in the Temple Terrace community without taking on many of the dangers that police officers face, now is your chance.

The is launching a Citizen Volunteer Patrol Program, which puts area residents on the streets of Temple Terrace, patrolling neighborhoods and helping officers with public safety.

“They’re just additional eyes and ears—crime prevention on wheels,” Police Chief Kenneth Albano explained to the City Council at its Tuesday evening meeting.

Twelve volunteers will be chosen. They’ll go through 40 hours of training and be required to commit to volunteering 14 hours per month. Responsibilities include:

  • Patrolling neighborhoods and commercial areas
  • Assisting officers with public safety and traffic control
  • Supplementing crime awareness activities
  • Responding to non-emergency calls
  • Providing basic first aid
  • Reporting suspicious activities

The city has refurbished two police vehicles that volunteers will use. The cars have amber lights instead of red and blue, and amber stickers on the doors that identify them as Citizen Patrol vehicles. Volunteers will never work alone, Albano explained; they will always be paired up.

Volunteer uniforms will be distinguishable from police uniforms. Volunteers will wear khaki shirts, blue pants and khaki hats.

According to Albano, the Citizen Volunteer Patrol Program creates a greater crime prevention presence.

“A greater presence equates to fewer opportunities for criminal activity,” he said. “Also, when volunteers can respond to lower priority calls, it allows more time for our officers to respond to high-priority enforcement issues and investigation-related calls.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has a similar program, and Albano told the council that it reported no serious injuries to its volunteers.

The start-up costs for the program, including vehicles, equipment, uniforms and training, will be covered by forfeiture funds, which is money recovered from illegal drug sales. Operational costs will be minimal, Albano said.

The police department is recruiting applicants now. To qualify, you must be at least 19 years old, an area resident, possess a valid Florida driver’s license, pass a criminal background check, and meet other restrictions and requirements.

To apply or obtain further information, call Officer Karen Walter at 813-506-6500 or e-mail kwalter@templeterrace.com.

Grant Rimbey August 17, 2011 at 09:35 PM
Great idea!
Dave Klasyk November 20, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Thanks for the info! I signed up, thanks to you. Hopefully they still have a position available for me. I feel I would be a good asset to the department, having worked as a deputy in the past. I loved writing handicap parking tickets. Thank you again!
Grant Rimbey November 21, 2011 at 03:18 PM
On the citizen patrol program, here is an update from TTPD Tracy Mishler: "Still in infancy stage and we are taking applications in the Human Resources Department. This likely will be a slow process in getting this program active for many reasons."
Grant Rimbey November 27, 2011 at 01:23 AM
I hope they start this program soon, the city needs it.
Dave Klasyk November 27, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Being how we are still in the infancy stages of this program, what would you or officer Walter say would be a realistic time frame when the citizen patrol program could be up and running? I know we need the volunteers first and foremost, but do we have the patrol cars ready, volunteer uniforms picked out and a training facility ready for operation? The only thing holding me back now is getting in to see my physician due to the holidays. My appellation should be 100% by next week and turned in for qualifying and processing. If there is anything else I could do to help expedite this program, please don't hesitate to ask.
Grant Rimbey November 27, 2011 at 08:03 PM
From what I know the city has the volunteers, do you think you contact Officer Walter to get a timeline on the program? I'm not sure if it is weeks, months or years away.
Dave Klasyk November 28, 2011 at 03:28 AM
I'm sorry if I said something that offended you. I thought I had a good idea and could have been of some use to the community. I asked you the question because you had said you wished the program would get started asap. I really don't know where your last comment came from. I was just asking a good question, or I thought. Sorry if it made you frustrated. I meant no harm, so if you have all the volunteers you need (12) then I'll quietly bow out.
Dave Klasyk November 28, 2011 at 05:21 AM
I just tried emailing Officer Walter, but kwalter@templeterrace.com. would not go through. This is what I got when trying to send it.: The address "kwalter@templeterrace.com." in the "To" field was not recognized. Please make sure that all addresses are properly formed.
Grant Rimbey November 28, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Hmm, no offense taken on anything written here! Just trying to help the process along, yours was a great question, sorry for the confusion. TTPS officer Tracy Mishler would know who to contact: TMishler@templeterrace.com Thanks for your efforts.
Dave Klasyk November 28, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Tracy Mishler will be out of town from the 28th of Nov. until the 16th of December. That really puts a freeze on everything. He also noted today in the Temple Terrace Patch that we had a Burglary Auto Nov.16, overnight, a Burglary Residence Nov. 17, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m, Burglary Residence Nov. 22, between 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.,and another Burglary Residence Nov. 22, between noon and 1:48 a.m. This is what I was talking about when I said it is the season for more crime activity and that it would get worse before it gets better. The facts are in. Maybe a few citizens would like to get together and just around in our own cars and just use our cell phones to report any suspicious activities. I'm just really trying to help, but I can't do it myself. Maybe other readers can offer suggestions that we can do until after the holidays to do what we can to help our community's crime rate go down, rather up as we see.
Grant Rimbey November 29, 2011 at 02:36 PM
"Maybe a few citizens would like to get together and just around in our own cars and just use our cell phones to report any suspicious activities." I already do this from time to time..:)...! It'd be great to have the cities structured program for this effort.
Dave Klasyk November 29, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Mr Rimbey, Do you think we should give the TTPD a heads up if and when doing this program, like telling them what type of car or cars we will be in and which ares we would be patrolling in? This way we don't become the suspicious activity. Also, maybe we could get a report from the TTPD of which ares had sighting of suspicious activity from the day or days prior to when were out there. I would also make a chart of when and where the activity took place and what type of crimes were reported, such as: Burglary Auto, Burglary Residence or even suspicious activities, auto or persons. I'm glad I have your support on this project in Lieu not having anything going into the Christmas Holidays. If anyone is available for this weekend, I too would also be willing to start asap. I may have a amber colored strobe light that could go on the top of a vehicle, if advised. Once again, Thank you again for your support. "Maybe you and I could patrol together sometime." :)
Grant Rimbey January 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Here is an update on this program from the TTPD, it seems this program is needed: "It seems that we have not had much interest in the program so far. Applications are available here @ City Hall, Human Resources Department or on line under the job opportunities section of the City’s website. This program is still a ways off. Officer Karen Walter has some applications and we are starting to conduct back ground checks etc. Next we will conduct interviews etc. Then training will start and that could take 40 hours or so. So we are moving slowly forward. Please be patient as with any other new program which has the normal hitches as we also learn what to do. I am sure it will get smoother as we get the program in force."
Tampa Guardian Angels August 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM
We have been following your e-mail's just wanted to know if the program took off the ground anyway l know it's hard to get volunteer's so we are going to offer the help in your community and would like to merg and patrol and take our street's back for our community.Please contact us if it sound like a plan The Alliance Of The Guardian Angels Saftey Patrol Of Tampa Bay @ 1-877-781-8986 ask for William Cruz or Ron Smith or via e-mail @ floridaguardianangels.org or visit web site www.guardianangels.org/facebook flguardianangels@facebook thank you.

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