MALIBU—On January 13, the City of Malibu announced that applications are now being accepted for the new Malibu Volunteers On Patrol (VOP) program. According to a press release, the program was created to allow civilian volunteers to help local law enforcement “serve and protect” their community.

VOP volunteers will serve as the “eyes and ears” for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. They will patrol the city two to a car and keep a look out for suspicious activity as well safety issues such as potholes and light outages. Other responsibilities include searching for missing children, school safety checks, residential vacation checks, conducting traffic control as well as assisting at sobriety checks.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s goal is to take advantage of the “vast resources of experience and skills possessed by its county residents and the surrounding communities” and utilize it in an “efficient and cost-effective manner.”

The requirements to become a volunteer are extensive in order to obtain the best candidates. As stated in the press release, all applicants “must live or work in the City of Malibu, must not have been convicted of a felony crime, must be emotionally stable, must have a valid California driver’s license” as well as agree to dedicate 16 hours per month to the program.

Deputy Shawn Brownell informed Canyon News that the VOP program has been very successful in other areas such as Agoura Hills, Calabasas and West Lake where about 33 people are currently dedicating their time to their cities.

Brownell stated that at this time, no applications have been received for the Malibu program. Those who would like to learn more about the program are instructed to contact Deputy Shawn Brownell at (818) 878-5506.