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Cape police taking volunteer applications

By Staff | Feb 18, 2010

The Cape Coral Police Department is seeking volunteers to man the main information desk at City Hall and time is running out to apply.
The CCPD’s Volunteer Unit is looking for additional volunteers to help provide support at City Hall, located at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. Volunteers currently work the information desk at the police department, and the unit will begin providing the same services at City Hall during regular business hours.
The deadline to apply is Friday.
“It would mostly be a greeter situation at City Hall,” Capt. Joe Hartley, of the CCPD Volunteer Unit, said.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old and have a valid Florida driver’s license. They will be interviewed and must pass a background check, he said. Volunteers are expected to work at least one, three-hour shift per week.
Hartley estimated that it would take at least 30 people to staff the desk at City Hall, not including backup volunteers in case someone is absent. The unit had received approximately 15 applications for the position as of Thursday.
“We certainly need more than that,” he said. “If we could get 40 new people, we would be happy as heck.”
Successful applicants will take part in a training program for the information desk at City Hall. Volunteers will receive a uniform and a police identification, and they will begin working at the information desk immediately.
“We’ll put them to work right away,” Hartley said.
Volunteers will be required to attend the next scheduled Police Volunteer Unit Academy, a 40-hour class that covers state and local laws as well as police procedures. Once the academy requirement is completed, volunteers are qualified for additional responsibilities assigned to the unit.
According to Hartley, the next academy is not for a few months.
“The plan now is to staff City Hall,” he said. “Get that going.”
Some of the other duties of the Volunteer Unit include patrol, issuing tickets for non-moving violations, directing traffic at crash scenes, conducting home checks, marine patrol and special events, among other things. Volunteers for the marine patrol must go through an academy and applications are taken as openings allow, Hartley said.
“We have our own police cars,” he added, referring to the patrol volunteers.
According to Hartley, volunteers can choose what they want to be assigned to. Upon completing the Police Volunteer Unit Academy, they can volunteer in any area they are interested in. If they want to only work at the information desk at City Hall or the police department, that is perfectly acceptable too.
“If they wanted to do just that type of administrative work, they could do either one,” he said.
Hartley encouraged all residents to apply.
“It’s a chance for them to do something for their city, give back a little bit,” he said, adding that volunteering can offer change to one’s everyday routine. “We’re not sworn officers, but we are an extra set of eyes and ears for the police department.”
Applications can be picked up and dropped off at the Cape Coral Police Department, located at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd. The operating hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For additional information, call 242-3346.