The Eugene Police Department currently has 73 volunteers, ranging from ages 21 to 89. In 2014, the amount of hours worked by EPD volunteers totaled nearly 17,000 hours. Today, we celebrated with our volunteers.
Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, National Volunteer Week is about thanking one of America's most valuable assets – our volunteers – and calling the public's attention to all that they do to improve our communities. This year, NVW is April 12-18, when we recognize and distribute a variety of awards that are not issued at any other time, including President’s Volunteer Service Awards, 1,000+ Hours of Service Awards and Challenge Coins.
This year, the Eugene Police Department had the privilege of awarding Gregory Zahar with two noteworthy awards, the President’s Volunteer Service Award and a lifetime achievement award that all volunteers are eligible for when they have contributed 4,000+ hours of service. Zahar is a retired EPD Police Sergeant who has volunteered at his former workplace in a variety of assignments.
President's Volunteer Service Awards are the most prestigious volunteer awards currently connected to the White House that all Americans can aspire to achieve. The awards are issued for hours volunteered during a 12-month period (January through December). Volunteers who have contributed 100+ hours during that time frame will be receiving an award (bronze, silver or gold).
• Volunteers age 15 to 25 are eligible for a bronze pin for 100-174 hours, a silver pin for 175-249 hours, and a gold pin for 250+ hours.
• Volunteers age 26+ are eligible for a bronze pin for 100-249 hours, a silver pin for 250-499 hours and a gold pin for 500+ hours.
There is also a lifetime achievement award that all volunteers are eligible for when they have contributed 4,000+ hours of service. This year, the Eugene Police Department had the privilege of awarding Gregory Zahar with this noteworthy award, and impressive achievement.
Visit http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/ to view the pins and learn more about the program.
1,000+ Hours of Service Awards
In 2005, we began the tradition of issuing hours of service rockers that can be attached to the VIP lapel pin. Eligibility for hours of service rockers starts the day a volunteer attends orientation. The rockers are available in increments of 1,000.
In 2007, we began issuing challenge coins to volunteers with 1,000+ hours of service.
History of Challenge Coins: During World War II, pilots carried medallion coins with them as a show of respect, loyalty, oath and camaraderie for their unit. This tradition came about after a pilot was shot down, captured, escaped, and then thought to be a spy at the front lines where they were going to execute him. The only ID the pilot had to prove his identity was his coin, which saved his life. This tradition still continues. Soldiers, police officers, volunteers, firefighters and paramedics carry their coin as a personal token symbolizing this devotion and allegiance to their unit.
Volunteering at the Eugene Police Department
For information on how to become a volunteer at the Eugene Police Department, visit the Eugene Police Website at www.eugene-or.gov/policevolunteers or contact Volunteers in Policing Program Manager Carrie Chouinard at 541.682.5355