---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "DOSWELL, GAIL R" <GDOSWELL@...
Nancy Anderson asked about working with Police and Fire.
I have to admit that our volunteer program began as a Police Dept. program
and then expanded to citywide. Actually, at the time, it was Public Safety
which included Police and Fire. This made it easier in some respects to get
their buy in. However, there was still resistance.
What I did was start by using volunteers to help me get the program started.
This allowed the sworn staff the opportunity to get used to seeing the
volunteers. One of our first volunteers was the wife a prominent judge, this
helped as well.
Now that our program is older--in it's 16th year--many of the supporters are
retiring and it is like I am starting over with all of the new people, so I
understand what you are up against.
I would suggest that you start with some of the clerical support in the
departments. Talk to them about what they are unable to get done or what
they would like to do if they had more time. Then locate an outstanding--I
mean really outstanding--volunteer. You know, go to your freezer and take
out the special volunteer you have been saving and pop them in the microwave
then send them over. Anyway, once you get one person to utilize the skills
of a volunteer, other should begin to see the benefit of having volunteers
Another thing is to find out how other city/county are utilizing volunteers
then present the ideas to the department. One of the things our Police
Department is most proud of is our Disabled Parking Enforcement Volunteers.
We are the first city in the nation to actually have volunteers in the field
who have the power to write citations. Other cities had volunteers take
pictures then officers would follow up. Our program is more than 10 years
old and the officers could not imagine not having the volunteers handle
I hope this helps. I invite you to contact separately if you would like more
"We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them,
or build with them." William Arthur Ward
Gail R. Doswell
Coordinator of Volunteers & Adopt-A-Park Program
1000 Webster Street, City of Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone (707) 428-7589 FAX (707) 428-0582
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