Bakersfield Police Department to start citizen volunteer unit

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Police Department is looking for volunteers who want to help make the city a safer place.

The department is starting a new citizen volunteer unit and they need people to pick up an application and sign up.

The volunteers will patrol the streets just like an officer does, but they won’t be packing heat.

“We’re hoping to have some people downtown helping patrol the downtown area and being more eyes and ears for the department,” said Crime Prevention Specialist Cindy London.

London also told 23ABC a citizen volunteer is a civilian and will not have the powers of arrest. They also cannot carry any type of weapons.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer will go through a four week academy to learn about the history of the department as well as its policies and procedures. The volunteer must also pass a background check.

“I think it's a great idea having more citizens helping. Everyone would be helping everyone out and it would make our community closer,” said Bakersfield resident Jessica Payne.

“We really need some help and we've seen other volunteer units at other agencies that work out really well,” explained London.

London told 23ABC the department has wanted to start the unit for years and it is finally becoming a reality, but they need volunteers.

"We just want people that really want to help the community. This is a great way to volunteer and get involved."

Anyone interested in signing up can pick up an application at the Bakersfield Police Department which is located at 1601Truxtun Avenue, or the West Substation at 1301 Buena Vista Road.

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