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PCSO Citizen Assisted Patrol Program receives award | Community Spirit

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PCSO Citizen Assisted Patrol Program receives award
PCSO Citizen Assisted Patrol Program receives award

Polk County, FL -- On Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Assisted Patrol, or CAP, volunteer program was recognized with the 2011 Public Service Award by the Florida Council on Aging.

The mission of the PCSO CAP program is to assist law enforcement officers in combating crime. The program, implemented in 2004, recruits, trains, and deploys citizen volunteers who donate time patrolling Polk County neighborhoods. 

Although they do not carry weapons and have no law enforcement power, these volunteer patrols increase law enforcement visibility, enhance citizen interaction with the Sheriff’s Office, increase crime awareness, and increases reporting of suspicious activities and circumstances for the Sheriff’s Office to follow up.

CAP volunteers receive specialized training and are issued uniforms and conduct patrols in golf carts and refurbished used patrol cars, on bikes and on foot.  During the first year, more than 100 members were trained for the program.  Currently the program has over 2,700 volunteers representing 45 communities and two recreational trails.

In 2010, the CAP volunteers completed over 21,971 patrols and donated 84,355 hours of service.  This represents a value of donated labor to the PCSO of $1,552,132 based on estimated volunteer hourly value data by the “Independent Sector.” The Independent Sector is the leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs. 

The CAP program has received the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the highest level of recognition given by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact the PCSO Volunteer Services Unit at 863-298-6681.

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