Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS)
The Volunteers In Police Services (VIPS) Program draws on the skills and abilities of community volunteers to support the Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) in a wide range of non-law enforcement roles. Volunteers are a valuable resource and serve in diverse capacities including clerical assignments, special projects, research, crime prevention initiatives and community events. By providing vital support services to the agency, volunteers enhance public safety and enable sworn personnel to handle critical public safety needs.
Individuals are not brought into the program unless a specific assignment that requires a VIPS is identified by department personnel. CCSO makes every attempt to match the skills and backgrounds of volunteers with the tasks to be accomplished. Although VIPS are assigned to a primary location within the department, they may also be re-assigned to another area of greater need.
- Administrative/office support
- Community fairs
- Crime prevention activities
- Data entry
- Detective report follow-up program
- Newsletter assimilation and publication
- School programs
- Special events
- Traffic assistance
- Vacation check call backs
- Must complete an application form
- Must be 18 years of age
- Must be in good physical and mental health
- Must be able to pass a background check
- Must interview favorably with the program coordinator
- Must not be a current law enforcement officer
- Must be able to volunteer a minimum of five hours of service per quarter/20 hours per year
Volunteers receive on-the-job training for their civilian assignments. Volunteers are not trained to do specific police related tasks.
Resources Provided by CCSO
- Identification badge
- Volunteer vests
- Volunteer liability insurance
Other Volunteer Opportunities
In addition to the standard VIPS opportunities, the agency has other programs which may be of interest.
- Elder Watch
This program ensures the personal welfare of the senior population in the Clay County community. It is designed to enhance contact with homebound elderly persons and residents with special needs. Often, our agency is contacted by out-of-town family members who are concerned for the well-being of these persons, due to a lack of contact. A VIPS volunteer makes daily contact with individuals who request to participate. Volunteers establish telephonic contact with homebound persons to check on their condition. Download Elder Watch Request Form
- Jail Inmate Enrichment Program
VIPS assist in providing a variety of enrichment programs to the Clay County Jail inmate population. Volunteers serve as literacy, life skills and parenting coaches, as well as resume writing and financial planning instructors.
- Jail Ministry Program
Opportunities are available for eligible members of the community to volunteer with faith-based programs inside the Clay County Jail. Please contact CCSO Chaplain Doug Matyi at (904) 213-5924 for details. The chaplain conducts jail volunteer orientations twice each year. The Jail Ministry Program involves 11 services conducted weekly led by volunteers.
- Marine Volunteer Program
The CCSO Marine Unit oversees the Marine Volunteer Program (MVP). Volunteers from the VIPS program must complete specialized training to become the agency’s “eyes and ears” on the water. The volunteers patrol Black Creek, Doctors Lake and the St. Johns River. They may assist the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary with boating safety classes, visit local marinas and boat dealers with boating safety information and assist during National Safe Boating Week.
- Sheriff’s Volunteer Youth Corps
In addition to adult opportunities, the Sheriff’s Youth Volunteer Corps provides high school students between the ages of 16 and 18 with opportunities to volunteer with the agency. Volunteers help with special events, read to school children in their classroom, mentor elementary students who need a one-on-one relationship with a caring individual, make special presentations to youth on law enforcement topics and assist in office and administrative tasks.
- Unforgettable Rides
Another agency volunteer group is Unforgettable Rides. These volunteers own antique/historic vehicles and use them to promote the sheriff’s office throughout the community at special events. This cadre of volunteers has a specific goal: attending events where the eye-catching vehicles will attract attention, thus providing them an opportunity to promote crime prevention, distribute public safety tips and have fun interacting with the community. If you have a car that is thirty years of age or older, you might want to consider signing up.