The Bellevue Police Department will receive an International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) award this year for its outstanding volunteer program.
With a team of nearly 50 volunteers performing a wide range of administrative and office support duties, the Bellevue Police have been able to control costs and expand services.
The Bellevue force is one of just three in the country to earn the award, for volunteer programs that “most exemplify the goals, concepts and spirit of volunteerism in action.” Programs are judged on such criteria as innovation, sustainability and acceptance and integration of volunteers throughout the agency.
“Citizen participation is a key component of our city’s overall policing efforts,” interim Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo said. “Having the city’s program recognized by our peers in law enforcement is a huge honor, and one of which both volunteers and staff should be extremely proud.”
Bellevue City Manager Steve Sarkozy noted, “The willingness of so many of our residents to become active as volunteers is a major reason why our city works on so many levels. Our police volunteer program is a great example of residents taking the time to become engaged and, in the process, make their community a better place. We owe them a big thank-you.”
Established in 1994
The Bellevue Police volunteer program began in 1994 and currently has 47 civilian volunteer staff. Led by volunteer coordinator Marji Trachtman since it started and designed to provide services that would not otherwise be available due to budget and staffing restrictions, the program has expanded to cover up to 30 assignments within the department.
Since its inception, volunteers have logged more than 125,000 hours, time that would have cost the city more than $2.25 million in estimated labor expenditures. Serving in nearly every section of the department, the volunteers have become indispensable to department operations.
In addition to performing administrative and office support services, volunteers issue handicapped parking and fire lane citations, operate community substations, track pawned property and shuttle vehicles.
Many Bellevue Police volunteers make a long-term commitment, and 17 have given more than 10 years of service. Another 11 have five to 10 years of service, and two volunteers have more than 5,000 service hours each.
The Police volunteer web page offers information on volunteering for the department.
The award will be presented to the department at the IACP annual meeting in New Orleans this October. This is the third award in two years the Bellevue Police Department has received from the IACP. In 2006 the department was recognized for outstanding achievement in auto crimes reduction and for having the top National Night Out Against Crime program.
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