volunteers in policing

volunteers in policing

Volunteers In Policing (VIPs) are adult citizen volunteers from Sonoma County who assist the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office with duties not specifically defined as law enforcement activities. VIP's are not peace officers, do not make arrests and do not carry weapons.

VIPs act as additional "eyes and ears" for the department and enjoy the challenge and excitement offered by assisting law enforcement and support personnel, as well as the satisfaction of providing a worthwhile community service. VIP's serve at the pleasure of the Sheriff and are not covered by the Civil Service System.

After training and under supervision, VIP's may be deployed to one or more activities, including the following:

  • VIP Patrol (Graffiti watch, substation assistant, vacation house checks, elder contact, school patrol and general patrol)
  • Marine Unit (assist Sheriff's Deputies on watercraft at Lake Sonoma, Bodega Bay, the Russian River or Petaluma River, transporting watercraft between locations and light maintenance)
  • Crime Prevention events (Neighborhood Watch, Fingerprinting and Courthouse Tours)
  • Clerical/Data Entry (Assist with sorting, filing, word processing and computer entry)
  • Special Events (Assist Deputy Sheriffs and/or Crime Prevention personnel at parades, safety fairs, schools and other events)

Program History

Started in 2001, VIPs now number 24 members assigned to the Marine Unit, the Helicopter Unit, the Coroner's Office, Crime Prevention, Sonoma Police Department, Windsor Police Department, River Substation, Sonoma Valley Substation or Sheriff's Main Office. Two specially marked VIP patrol cars are reserved for VIP Patrol.

General Requirements

No felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
Must be at least 18 years of age
Physically and psychologically suitable for the assignment
Good moral character
Must complete the Department's Citizen's Academy and VIP training
Must be willing to volunteer a minimum of four hours per week or 16 hours per month and make a two-year commitment to the program.

Application Process
Call the Sheriff's Personnel office at 707-565-2779 or complete an Indication of Interest and the Hiring Application download it at http://www.sonoma-county.org/hr/volunteer/forms_toc.htm

You will be notified of the time and place for the next orientation and oral interview. Those applicants who successfully complete the oral interview will be placed into the background investigation process for further consideration.