We'd Be Lost Without these Volunteers -- Post by Joelyn Hansen

The Idaho Falls Citizen’s Watch Group – the men and women that drive in the cars with the yellow lights and wear the white uniform – are a great asset to the operation of the Idaho Falls Police Department.

Started in 2001, the group officially organized itself after alumni from the Idaho Falls Police Citizen’s Academy asked what they could do to assist the IFPD.

Ten years later, the group is a thriving organization with approximately 25 members that assist with neighborhood patrols, accidents, abandoned vehicles, vacation watches, special events, graffiti clean-up and various other tasks. Some of these volunteers put upwards to 20 plus hours a week and never hesitate to assist when needed – and there are times we need them a lot!

It’s estimated that annually their contribution of volunteer hours saves the city over $400,000 and it also assures that sworn officers can continue to work the high priority calls.

Around the state, the CWP sets a high standard for other groups completing similar tasks for their respective law enforcement agencies. The group again was able to “show off” this past weekend as the CWP hosted the annual State of Idaho Law Enforcement Volunteers Organizational Picnic.

Representatives from Elmore County, Twin Falls, Mountain Home and Weiser were in attendance giving an opportunity for these volunteers to share information and network with each other.

As the volunteer coordinator, I was busting with pride Saturday as our volunteers, dressed in their white uniforms, again showed by many agencies look to Idaho Falls for guidance when starting their own volunteer group.
By Joelyn Hansen