The Richardson Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) program started in 2002 when 26 people joined the program. Volunteers receive formal training on tasks involving Vacation House Watch, Abandoned Vehicle Notification, Commercial Vehicle Inspections, Fingerprinting, Records, Warrants, and clerical duties. Volunteers also assist the Patrol, Investigations, Crime Prevention, Property and Equipment Control divisions and sections.

Police Volunteers in Patrol Operations (Field Operations Volunteers) are outfitted with formal uniforms that readily identify them to the public. The police department has dedicated vehicles for the volunteer program, marking them with “Volunteers in Police Service and VIPS” on the sides of the cars. Field Operations Volunteers utilize the same radios and in-car computers as Police Officers for communications and dispatching while performing their duties. 

The formal training and subsequent on-the-job training provides the police volunteers with the skills necessary to do their tasks. The VIPS provide more than 19,000 hours each year. Prospective volunteers need to be at least 18 years old and live or work in the City of Richardson.

Video about the program: