Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)

Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) is a specialized component of Citizen Corps. VIPS volunteers help supplement and support officers and civilian personnel by allowing them to concentrate on their primary duties. Volunteer roles may include performing clerical tasks, serving as an extra set of "eyes and ears," assisting with search and rescue activities, and writing citations for accessible parking violations. The ultimate goal of VIPS is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement by using volunteers.

The Volunteers in Police Service program matches a volunteer's specific skill set with the needs of law enforcement. There are many kinds of assistance a volunteer can provide. From information systems management to clerical tasks to forming a Neighborhood Watch group, these volunteers provide services that make law enforcement agencies function more efficiently. This ultimately leads to safer neighborhoods.

Volunteers in Police Service works to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to use volunteers.

Announced in early 2002, Volunteers in Police Service is part of the Citizen Corps initiative, in which American citizens volunteer help and support to law enforcement agencies and civilian personnel by allowing those people to concentrate on their primary duties. This Citizen Corps initiative provides the organization and training needed to make the most of the citizen volunteers.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police manages and implements the VIPS program in partnership with and on behalf of the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.

Anyone who is 18 years of age and older can volunteer. They will undergo a rigorous background check. The Wheeling-Ohio County VIPS program is working to develop a volunteer program for the youth.

Citizen Police Academy courses are free and take 11 weeks to complete. Classes are offered twice a year. It is strongly recommended that citizens complete the training before volunteering. However, this is not always required. Citizens who complete the training are not required to volunteer.  To see the course outline, click on the form on the left side of this page.

To apply for the next Citizens Police Academy, go to the CPA application on the left side of this page.


Lt. Josh Sanders

Wheeling Police Department
1500 Chapline St.
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-3708