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 Lindy Smith by email (Lindy.M.Smith@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 investigation 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, Lindy Smith by email (Lindy.M.Smith@ci.eugene.or.us) or by phone at 541.682.5355.

2017 Volunteer Statistics

Last year, 77 volunteers contributed 12,983 hours of service with an added value of $320,550.  The national average hourly value of volunteer time is developed by the Independent Sector and is currently $24.69. 

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.

Squad Car Maintenance Team Honored

The Squad Car Maintenance Team (SCMT) was selected as the Regional Winner of the 2015 Governor's Volunteer Awards for Community Based Volunteer Programs and was honored at an awards luncheon at the Salem Conference Center.  The SCMT is an invaluable asset to EPD.  Prior to the implementation of the team in 2004, mechanics shuttled police vehicles that needed service to and from the fleet shop. In an effort to save time and resources for the shuttling service, the SCMT was formed; however, the value of the team extends far beyond the initial objective.  SCMT volunteers are energetic, positive and willing to take on any task.  The team's goal is to keep police cars clean, well equipped, organized and functioning  well for the officers.  Congratulations to the SCMT!    
SCMT GVA 101215

Police Chaplains Recognized as Volunteer Team of the Year

Police Chaplains Rich Carroll, Brett Gilchrist and Steve Hill were recognized as the United Way Volunteer Team of the Year at an awards luncheon on April 14, 2016.  The theme of the event was "Volunteers are Superheroes" and each chaplain was outfitted with a red cape.  The chaplains provide a variety of services including spiritual counsel and advice, marital and family counseling.  They participate in ride-alongs and attend briefings and trainings.  They make themselves available to assist with death notifications and provide comfort and consolation to persons involved in crises, accidents and natural disasters.  The Register-Guard produced an amazing video as a tribute to the chaplains, highlighting their efforts and activities. Congratulations Police Chaplains! 


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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."
Pam Ehlers (volunteer since 2009)
"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."
Bob Walker (volunteer since 2008)

"As a relatively new volunteer, I'm finding that serving the Eugene Police as a member of the Seniors on Patrol Team is a rewarding way to stay active in the community while making a very real contribution.  In addition to making new and lasting friendships with other team members, the SOP has proven to be a great way to learn about and gain a new appreciation for local law enforcement and the difficult jobs our sworn officers are expected to carry out every day.  I'm proud to be part of a volunteer group that, among many other activities, assists our officers by providing more eyes and ears in the community, helps to make sure that folks who are disabled have available places to park, and provides an important free service to Eugene residents by checking on the security of their homes during their absence.  I encourage anyone with a little extra time, an interest in their community, and an interest in learning, to check into volunteering with the Eugene Police Department." 
Garry Kunkel (Volunteer since 2014)

"When I first moved to Eugene, I knew I wanted to find a long-term volunteer assignment in a program with excellent oversight and organization--one truly devoted to its volunteers. After considering various organizations, I chose the Eugene Police Department because its volunteer program and manager stood out.  I've worked in health and human services, including at a United Way in another state:  I recognize good volunteer programs and my standards are high.  EPD's program surpasses anything I've seen before, and that's due in large part to its program manager, Carrie Chouinard.  I volunteer in the Crime Prevention Unit in an administrative role.  The work I do is gratifying while offering me a break from my day job; I can come in, do my work and know that I've accomplished a set number of tasks for the week. It's a great feeling.  The staff, officers, and volunteers I've met have been friendly and supportive, and I love volunteering for an organization that so obviously values its volunteers.  We're recognized on our anniversaries and birthdays and at the annual volunteer appreciation celebration.  And we get to attend cool events, like the retirement of dogs in the K-9 unit.  EPD is a great place to volunteer."
Holly Alexander (volunteer since 2013)

"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 
"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."
Dan Maxwell (volunteer since 2004)
"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.”
Cliff Flesch (volunteer since 2004)