The VIPS program originated from the USA Freedom Corps that was established by President George W. Bush following the events of September 11, 2001. Thousands of law enforcement agencies across the United States utilize volunteer programs such as VIPS to supplement their staff. The programs help police department personnel build stronger relationships within the community while allowing sworn police officers the ability to address crime more efficiently.“Volunteers are an important part of any organization and have proven a valuable asset to law enforcement,” stated Chief Akagi. “The Oak Ridge Police Department has utilized volunteers for assistance with a variety of functions, most notably, as Police Chaplains and Neighborhood Watch participants. The VIPS program will expand opportunities for qualified volunteers to help enhance our responsiveness, improve our service delivery, and increase our crime prevention efforts. I am looking forward to implementing the program.”Volunteers who work within the police department will be required to pass a criminal background check, be at least 18 years of age, be of good moral character and be willing to commit to a minimum of 16 hours a month. Volunteers will work alongside police department staff utilizing their skills in a partnership to help improve the services provided to the citizens of Oak Ridge.Applications can be picked up in the Records Department. For more information on VIPS, click here.