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Community News: East

BOYLE HEIGHTS : Hollenbeck Police Need Volunteer Help

October 09, 1994

Police at the Hollenbeck Division substation are seeking volunteers to work desk jobs and perform other duties to free up police officers for street patrols.

Officer Bob Garcia, who is in charge of recruiting, wants to sign up 40 to 50 residents for the volunteer positions, which will involve taking reports from people who walk into the station, helping investigators follow up on reports, performing clerical duties and, as part of a special unit, responding to domestic violence cases to help with relocation, referrals and moral support.

"The best part about it is they're a community person," Garcia said. "There's always a gap between the officer and the victim, even though we try to help. If there's a community person there to say, 'I live just four blocks away and I'm just here to help,' that would be great."

The volunteer program is expanding to allow more officers to be on the streets as part of the Los Angeles Police Department's community policing program.

Volunteers must be 18 or older and have a clean record. Applicants will be screened because they will be involved in sensitive work that requires responsibility and maturity, Garcia said.

Applicants will also be asked to go through four Saturdays of classes from 8 a.m. to noon on the organization of the Police Department, introduction to criminal law and other aspects of police work.

"They'll get a crash course of what the police officers get in their six-month academy training," Garcia said.

After that, the volunteers will be asked to serve a minimum of eight hours each month. Garcia hopes the volunteers will eventually run the volunteer program themselves.

"We need a high-energy person who is willing to volunteer their time to their community," Garcia said. "It's not like they're giving (their time) to anyone but themselves and the people they live with, their community. It's an outstanding program."

For information, call Garcia at (213) 485-2949 or pick up an application from the Hollenbeck Division substation, 2111 E. 1st St.

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