Volunteer at EPD

About Our Volunteers
The Eugene Police Department's Volunteers in Policing Program partners citizens and police in support of our crime prevention and community policing efforts. As a Eugene Police volunteer, you will have a front-row seat for behind-the-scenes operations of law enforcement. We recruit a wide range of volunteers, including retirees, employed people, Citizens’ Police Academy graduates and students. We are able to accommodate practicums, internships and cooperative work experience placements. We recruit people at all levels of income, and diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. When citizens who receive police services are helping to design, prioritize, and even deliver services, a closer connection is made between the Police Department and the public. This is what community policing is all about.
By involving volunteers, EPD is able to provide additional services -- services the public wants, but the department is unable to provide or unable to make a priority due to budget and staffing limitations. Examples include home vacation checks and enforcement of disabled parking violations. 

Volunteers also maximize existing resources. By including volunteers in focused crime prevention operations targeted at property crimes hot spot areas, department resources are expanded.  EPD is able to reach more citizens and provide them with important crime prevention information and services. Volunteers provide support at department outreach events; serve subpoenas to victims and witnesses; keep EPD vehicles clean, fully stocked and safe; perform graffiti abatement; investigate cold cases; maintain and repair equipment for the Bicycle Team; photograph employee activities and events; locate stolen vehicles; and provide chaplain services.  

Because volunteers relieve paid staff of routine duties, employees are better able to concentrate on other responsibilities.  Examples include filing and entering data for the Forensic Evidence Unit; retrieving surveillance videos from businesses that are victims of financial and property crimes; keeping the 911 Center's resource notebook up-to-date; and scanning and filing reports for the Records Section.

Click here to view Volunteer Position Descriptions 
Note:  All existing volunteer positions are posted so that individuals interested in joining the VIP Program can become familiar with the types of volunteer opportunities EPD offers. Not all positions are open.  To inquire as to whether a particular volunteer position is open, contact VIP Program Manager Carrie Chouinard by email (carrie.f.chouinard@ci.eugene.or.us) or by phone at 541.682.5355.

Minimum Requirements for Becoming a Volunteer
  • You must be able to pass a background investigation.The background check includes a criminal history check and extensive reference checks (both employment and social).
  • You must have a commitment to comply with confidentiality requirements and police policies.
  • You must be supportive of the Eugene Police Department and comfortable working within a police environment which sometimes involves people-related emergencies and crisis conflict management.
  • Some assignments require volunteers to be 18 years of age or older, other assignments require volunteers to be retired.
  • Most assignments require a minimum commitment of one 4-hour shift per week for three months of service.
Process for Becoming a Eugene Police Volunteer
The volunteer placement process includes an application, interview(s), background investigation and orientation. If you are interested in applying for a volunteer position or would like more information, contact the Volunteers in Policing Program Manager, Carrie Chouinard by email (carrie.f.chouinard@ci.eugene.or.us) or by phone at 541.682.5355.

2015 Volunteer Statistics
Last year, 86 volunteers contributed 15,316 hours of service with an added value of $353,340.  The national average hourly value of volunteer time is developed by the Independent Sector and is currently $23.07. 

Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award
In 2006, the Eugene Police Department was honored with the Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award. Co-sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Science Applications International Corporation, the purpose of this annual award is to recognize excellence in leadership through the implementation of an effective, high quality volunteer program that successfully integrates volunteers into overall organizational operations and administration and to institutionalize the theories and practices of the National Volunteers in Police Service Program. EPD was presented with the award at the IACP Annual Conference in Boston.

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Quotes from Volunteers and Employees

"I started volunteering with EPD at the strong urging of a friend. I drug my feet because, after all...what did I have to offer these professional people? I’m not a mechanic and will probably get lost in areas outside my shopping area! But my sense of wanting to give back to my community won and I’ve never regretted that decision. In a blink of an eye, five years have now passed and I’m so proud to say I’ve met an outstanding group of EPD employees and volunteers who are knowledgeable, professional, friendly, dedicated people who are always willing to work together! I’ve assisted with "kid camps" from kindergarten to middle school age, signature events like Prevention Convention, bicycle registration events, "lock it or lose it" awareness events as well as assisted with office responsibilities. I always come away from assignments more informed than before and feeling that I get far more back than I give!! It's truly very rewarding for me."
Volunteer Pam Ehlers
"I first found out about the Volunteers in Policing program through the Eugene Police Website. I was impressed with the organization and the many varied types of programs available to volunteers. The one area of volunteer work that first struck me was the “Huckleberry Patrol.” This program allows volunteers to go out in pairs and document, photograph and then clean or paint over graffiti in the midtown area. I decided to stop complaining about my “pet peeve” and actually do something about it. Here was the opportunity to make a difference. I am filled with a great sense of accomplishment as I notice how the members of our team have made a difference in the amount of graffiti around town. It proves even small things like this really can make a difference in our community."
Volunteer Bob Walker
"I have found every one of these volunteers I contact are truly wonderful people.They are great to share a story with, telling and listening.They are a true asset to our department and have saved me countless hours of vehicle maintenance.Each has been helpful in resolving equipment deficiencies and problems I have encountered.I have never seen one of those guys with anything but a smile on their face and a kind word to share.I have enjoyed their company and am glad they are here."
Police Sergeant Dale Dawson 

"As a volunteer at the EPD, I feel like I get to contribute to the community in a meaningful way and I also get to learn about how policing works from the inside out. The people I've met have a strong sense of duty, and I enjoy the experience of supporting their hard work."
Volunteer Hayley Dyer
"I retired from the medical field and missed the contact with providers, staff and patients.  I learned of the Seniors on Patrol Team from a Eugene Police Department employee and he encouraged me to apply.  (Thank you!)  What a wonderful way to give back to the community. I have found the administration,  police officers and senior volunteers to be a wonderful and welcoming group of people -- always willing to give to others.  One of the many positive experiences is Safety Town that is organized and run by the Eugene Police Department. The pre-school children were hesitant the first day, of course, to leave their mom's side, but by the second day they were excited to return.  The officers made the experience exciting and rewarding. The children learned the rules of crossing streets, driving pedal cars on roads set up with traffic signals and wearing seat belts. They got to sit on a police motorcycle and visit with the motorcycle officer.  They took a ride on a school bus, met Casey the fire dog, experienced a Fire Engine and a Police car from the inside, spoke with Animal Safety officers, and enjoyed many crafts.  All and all I would encourage volunteering for the Eugene Police Department."
Volunteer Sandi Viohl
"The reason I signed on with the Volunteers in Policing Program was because it seemed like an experience I thought I would like to try. I have never wanted to be a police officer but I have always admired and respected the job that they do. I have, however, always have been a "mechanic wannabe." To work on cars was something I thought would be enjoyable for four hours a week I was both excited about the experience and a little bit apprehensive because of the one year commitment requirement. Now looking back, it is hard to believe that four years have passed. I have made a lot of new friends in the Police Department and with our crew members. I have learned computer skills that I probably would not have picked up if I had not volunteered. I have enjoyed using my mind to help improve our Squad Car Maintenance Team to what it is today. I have enjoyed using my leadership skills to help make our program an asset to the Police Department. Hopefully, we make the sworn officers' jobs a little bit easier. I think all of our members take a lot of pride in the job we do. If I thought I was just "putting in my time" or if I thought I just like to drive a cop car, I wouldn't do this job. I think we have become an essential part of the department and the City of Eugene would have a hard time replacing our crew. Overall, the experience I have had with the VIP Program has kept my mind and body active.I think I would have had a boring four years if I had not volunteered!"
Volunteer Dan Maxwell
"Seniors on Patrol volunteers provide valuable service, both to our department and our community.The team has such a diverse background in their previous careers and each member brings such great experience to the job.Some of the tasks that Senior Patrol performs would not be done were it not for them, including vacation checks and random patrol of disabled parking spots.Many on the team volunteer in additional assignments and many provide much more than the minimum hour commitment.When the team is on duty, they provide extra eyes and ears for our Patrol officers and our citizens, making the city just a little safer for all. It's such a great pleasure to work with volunteers who are service minded and give of their time and talents to help in whatever way they can."
Seniors on Patrol Team Supervisor Debbie Janecek
“I volunteer for the EPD because I know our police department is understaffed and in need of any assistance that I can provide.It gives me the opportunity of assisting our community, and being a part of solutions to problems instead of just complaining of things. From a very personal point of view, it gives me a purpose in my retirement, keeps me active and involved in the community. It allows me to assist my neighbors by providing services that the regular police officers simply do not have the time to do. Finally, it gives my life joy and satisfaction.”
Volunteer Cliff Flesch