CROSSVILLE (WATE) – The Crossville Police Department is calling for backup, looking for everyday residents to help out police officers.
“I can’t tell you how many things in a day’s time that keep our officers tied up is something that any citizen can do,” said Chief Rodney Shoap. “We always need the help.”
This summer, the department will start its first Volunteers In Policing (VIP) program.
“I want to give back a lot of what I’ve already been given,” said Edie Petty, who wants to be part of the program. “Do some patrolling some helping with parking in different activities that are going on.”
Petty and around 20 other Crossville residents will be trained to help direct traffic, do welfare checks and help around the police station.
“It keeps gun-toting police officers available for gun-toting types of calls,” said Chief Shoap.
The volunteers will also learn to how to spot suspicious activity and when to get an officer to the scene.
“One of the important things is they’ll drive right in neighborhoods,” said Chief Shoap. “We’re going to teach them how to drive our cars, how to talk on our radios and how to patrol neighborhood.”
Shoap said vehicles for the program will be donated. He said the equipment and training going into the program will save the department money. He also hopes VIP will enhance the relationship between police and the people they serve.
“I think we ought to work together because after all they protect us with their lives so what we can do to make their job easier is what I am all for,” said Petty.
The Crossville police department is looking for about 20 volunteers to start the 40 hour training program this July. Volunteers must be 18 or older with no criminal record. They will also have to have a safe driving record, pass academy curriculum, and go through a background check.
To start the VIP application process, call 931-484-7231 and ask to speak with Kristi Cook.