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Police Volunteer Unit seeks patrol recruits

By Staff | Jul 17, 2015

The Cape Coral Police Department’s Volunteer Unit is hoping to acquire some new faces.

The unit is accepting applications for its next academy class, scheduled for Sept. 14-18 from 8 a.m. It currently needs volunteers for its patrol division, but there are also marine and administrative duties.

“We’re recruiting for patrol,” Capt. Terry Nicodemus, of the Volunteer Unit, said. “We almost always have openings in administrative – but they can do any of the three or all of the three divisions.”

Applicants must be over 21 years old, a Lee County resident and have a valid Florida driver’s license.

Those interested in applying can pick up an application at the Cape Coral Police Department.

The deadline to turn in applications is July 31.

“Then they’ll be called in for an interview,” he said.

During the face-to-face interview, applicants learn about what is expected of the volunteers and the responsibilities of each of the divisions, as well as undergo a background check and get fingerprinted.

“We’ve never turned anyone away who passed a background check,” Nicodemus said.

Officials are hoping to put together at least 30 applicants for the academy.

“But we can accommodate as many people as we can,” he said.

The Volunteer Unit currently consists of 180 members.

“It’s not a tough academy,” Nicodemus said. “It just goes over what we do.”

The first three days will include classroom work. On Thursday, the trainees will go to an intersection with a full-time police officer and learn how to direct traffic, where to place the cones and such.

“It covers everything that the Volunteer Unit does,” he said.

On the final day, the trainees will take a test on the material that they learned.

“There is a test at the end,” Nicodemus said.

Following the completion of the academy, the new volunteers will be assigned a trainer and undergo a probationary period of 96 hours. Future training is available for those interested in the marine duties.

“They must work 16 hours per month minimum,” he said of all the volunteers.

They also must participate in additional training as needed.

“It’s a commitment,” Nicodemus said.

The patrol division assists with the enforcement of non-moving violations, such as handicap parking, parking in a fire lane, median parking, parking on a sidewalk and parking in front of a fire hydrant.

“They patrol the streets,” he said.

They conduct vacation house checks, direct traffic at accidents and make deliveries to the court system in Cape Coral and Fort Myers. They also work special events, like Red, White and Boom and more.

With two boats assigned to it, the marine division works a morning and an afternoon shift.

“They patrol the canals and tell speeders to slow down,” Nicodemus said.

They look for downed markers and pull debris out of the canals.

The administrative division works the information desks at the police department and City Hall.

For more information on the Volunteer Unit or applying, call (239) 242-3346.

The Cape Coral Police Department is at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd.