Test Fly a Career in Law Enforcement
If you are in high school or college and you think you want to pursue a career in law enforcement, but you are not sure (or even if you are), there is a program that will give you hands on experience. The program is Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS).
VIPS celebrated its seventh anniversary this past May. When the program began in 2002 there were only 76 local or state law enforcement programs registered. Now, according to the VIPS website, there are 1,910 VIPS programs and 222,000 volunteers from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. There all also some programs abroad.
What exactly is VIPS?
VIPS is a program begun after the tragedy of 9/11. Volunteers are involved in every conceivable activity in law enforcement agencies of all sizes throughout the United States. They participate in municipal police departments, sheriffs departments, and state police agencies. Volunteers serve throughout the departments in a variety of assignments including crime prevention, Special Investigations, Patrol (including Disabled parking enforcement), D.A.R.E., Personnel amp; Training, Traffic Bureau, Fleet Maintenance, Records and Administration. The V.I.P.S. also provide additional support with special events that take place in each year.
What do you, the volunteer, get out of it?
You get exposure to the real behind the scenes of every day police activity. You develop marketable skills for future career development You work with real officers and make valuable contacts that will serve you well if your pursue a career in law enforcement Your experience is documented You will have interesting experiences You will have first hand knowledge upon which to base your decision to pursue a career in law enforcement. You get to give back to your community and help make it a better place. What is expected of you?
Most likely you will need to undergo a background check You will be expected to show up on time for your assignments If you need a change to schedule you must communicate with your volunteer coordinator You will be expected to perform your duties to the best of your ability. You will keep confidential information confidential What does the law enforcement agency get out of it?
Officers are freed from duties that would keep them from performing police work In this time of budget issues, no police department has enough money or staff to do all that needs to be done. Having a strong and active volunteer force is essential for any law enforcement agency struggling to meet the ever-increasing needs of the community it serves. Closer contact with the community means better understanding on both sides. So if you seriously think you want to a career in law enforcement VIPS is the place to start.