(NY Times) Police Departments Turn to Volunteers

Hamstrung by shrinking budgets, the police say the volunteers are indispensable in dealing with low-level offenses and allow sworn officers to focus on more pressing crimes and more violent criminals.

“We had the option to either stop handling those calls or do it in a different manner,” said Fresno’s police chief, Jerry Dyer, whose department has lost more than 300 employees in recent years. “I’ve always operated under the premise of no risk, no success. And in this instance, I felt we really didn’t have very much to lose.”

Other chiefs facing budget problems are also using volunteers. In Mesa, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb, 10 of them have been trained to process crime scenes, dust for fingerprints and even swab for DNA. In Pasadena, Calif., a team of retirees is combating identity theft ”” and, apparently, their own ennui.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

One comment on “(NY Times) Police Departments Turn to Volunteers

  1. Vatican Watcher says:

    This is not a complicated concept. Anyone who’s spent any time watching Western films is familiar with sheriffs and town marshals deputizing volunteers.