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City police unit looking for new volunteers

By Staff | Dec 12, 2017

The Cape Coral Police Department’s Volunteer Unit is hoping to add some new people.

The unit is taking applications for its next academy class, set for Jan. 22-26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’re the extra eyes and ears of the police department,” Jerry Monroe, volunteer coordinator for the CCPD’s Volunteer Unit, said. “I’m looking to supplement and include an increase in our numbers.”

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

Prior law enforcement experience is not needed to apply.

“A law or policing background is not required,” he said. “We have people from all walks of life.”

Applications are available at the CCPD or online at www.capecops.com.

The deadline to turn in applications is Friday.

“We’re not taking anything away from the regular sworn officers,” Monroe said. “We assist them.”

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.

“Another biggie is assisting the sworn officers during a traffic crash,” he said. “We go out and direct traffic and let them do their duties.”

The volunteers also conduct vacation house checks and make deliveries to the court system in Cape Coral and Fort Myers. They help out with special events, like Red, White and Boom, and more.

The unit has also been participating in a new program called Traffic Watch.

“We go out and check areas for speeders,” Monroe said, adding that the volunteers submit reports on what they observe, which the department uses to determine where to set up traffic enforcements.

A minimum of 16 hours per month is required from each volunteer.

There is a morning, an afternoon and evening patrol shift for scheduling flexibility.

“Basically, they are four-hour shifts,” he said.

Interviews will be set up once all of the applications have been reviewed.

“We bring them in for an oral interview and just go over things,” Monroe said.

Applicants also undergo a background check and get fingerprinted.

The weeklong academy will involve classroom work, speakers and more.

“They expose everything that we do,” he said. “All the duties we have, our rules and regulations.”

At the conclusion of the academy, a brief 50-question test is given.

New volunteers are first assigned to a road trainer and undergo a probationary period.

“They give the candidates a hands-on experience for what we do,” Monroe said.

At the end, a training coordinator will review everything to ensure that the volunteer is prepared.

“They get a full uniform by the police department,” he said. “There is no cost to them.”

Monroe encouraged residents to consider the volunteer opportunity.

“It’s giving back to the community, and it has a good return for the city itself,” he said.

The unit provides over $1 million per year in in-kind services.

For more information, contact 239-242-3346 or ccpdvol@capecoral.net.

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