Enhancing Public Safety
|VIPS Program History...
In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush announced the creation of the USA Freedom Corps, an effort to foster a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility, building on the generous spirit of the American people. The Citizen Corps programs are part of the USA Freedom Corps initiative and share the common goal of helping communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to crime, natural disasters, and other emergencies. One of the Citizen Corps partner programs is the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages and implements the VIPS Program in partnership with and on behalf of the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.
Law enforcement volunteer programs are not designed to replace sworn or civilian personnel. Rather, volunteers are used to supplement and enhance existing or envisioned functions to allow law enforcement professionals to do their job in the most effective manner. Volunteers can provide innumerable benefits to a law enforcement agency. They can help enhance public safety and services, maximize existing resources, and create valuable ties between law enforcement and members of the community. Investing in a volunteer program can help sworn and civilian employees fulfill their primary functions and provide services that may not otherwise be offered.
“...we should continue to strengthen partnerships between citizens and local law enforcement and work to engage more volunteers in public safety and emergency preparedness.”
President George Bush
May 9, 2003