MALIBU—The City of Malibu has purchased a second patrol vehicle for its Volunteers on Patrol (VOP) program, and is seeking new recruits to join the VOP team.
The Malibu City Council approved the purchase of the new vehicle, a 2015 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, in May. The program’s other vehicle is a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
The VOP program was created by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to “help the Sheriff’s department achieve its goals in an effective and cost-efficient manner” by allowing city residents to help protect and serve their community. According to the official website, volunteers act “as ‘eyes and ears’ for the Department,” and they “help identify suspicious activities, crimes in progress, or other dangerous circumstances, and notify the authorities for proper handling.” Volunteers also have the authority to enforce Malibu parking regulations by issuing parking citations.
“I applaud the volunteers of the VOP program who dedicate their time to helping make Malibu a safer community, and I encourage any Malibu resident interesting in public service to become a VOP team member,” said Mayor John Sibert in a press release. “The new vehicle is a great investment and will increase the service that VOPs provide to Malibu.”
The program currently has 10 volunteer members, none of whom are allowed to carry a weapon.
Between January 2014 and March 2015, VOP members contributed over 5,000 hours of volunteer service valued at around $250,000. VOP members also handed out 1,524 parking citations during the same period.
In addition to having the power to issue parking citations, VOP members also assist in traffic control, residential patrols, assisting with city-sponsored events, conducting shopping mall checks as well as vacation and business checks.
The Malibu VOP program was originally approved by the city council on December 13, 2010.
According to city staff, additional VOP members are currently being sought after. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must be over 18 years old, be an active resident of the city, submit a background check, complete an interview, meet driving standards and commit to ongoing training.
For additional information, contact Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Woodard at 818-878-5506 or MRWoodar@lasd.org.