Volunteer citizens on patrol (V-COP)
In early 1995, a handful of volunteers were brought together to brainstorm the idea of forming a volunteer organization. During this time, it was obvious that volunteers possessed many talents and expertise that could be applied to different areas of the Department. The small volunteer group met with Senior Staff and proposed a more proactive citizen "Eyes and Ears" concept for the Unit. This meeting resulted in the formulation of the Volunteer Citizen Observer Program being formally implemented into the Palm Bay Police Department and the "VCOP" was officially born in February 1996.
Over the years the program has grown into a strong volunteer force that is essential to the day-to-day operation of the Department. To date, there are over 75 active members that provide services to not only all divisions within the Police Department but to the City of Palm Bay as well as many other community agencies. Moving forward, the volunteers are utilized throughout ALL departments/divisions within the Police Department and in addition respond to assisting other cities upon their request. Volunteer responsibilities include staffing the front desk located in the Department lobby, fingerprinting, road patrol, distribution of crime bulletins/flyers, crime victim call back, traffic control assistance, minor crash investigations, parking enforcement, victim advocacy, data entry, courier service, 24 hour call outs, report writing, processing found property, special event assistance, residential vacation house checks, provide relief and assistance during/after natural disasters, placement and recovery of the speed radar trailer, tagging and removal of abandoned and illegally parked vehicles, provide administrative support and many additional support and proactive activities as requests come in.
Further information about the Volunteer Citizen Observer Program may be obtained by calling (321) 953-8987 or by responding in person to the Police Department’s front lobby at 130 Malabar Road SE, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (holidays excluded).