The Fire Corps Program is a
nationwide effort to bring citizens into local fire and emergency
service departments to assist in non-operational roles, allowing
firefighters and emergency medical responders to focus on critical,
Through the use of citizen advocates, Fire Corps increases the capacity
of volunteer, combination and career Fire / EMS departments and creates a
vital link between the fire and emergency services and citizens who
want to make a difference in their community.
offers numerous resources designed to assist departments in the
implementation and maintenance of Fire Corps programs. Included in these
resources are ideas for incorporating Fire Corps members into
non-operational roles, tools enabling departments to retain and recruit
citizen advocates, as well as access to a nationwide network of Fire
Medical Reserve Corps
Reserve Corps (MRC) Program coordinates the skills of practicing and
retired physicians, nurses and other health professionals as well as
other citizens interested in health issues, who are eager to volunteer
to address their community's ongoing public health needs and to help
their community during large scale emergency situations.
Local community leaders will develop their own Medical Reserve Corps
Units and identify the duties of the MRC volunteers according to
specific community needs. For example, MRC volunteers may deliver
necessary public health services during a crisis, assist emergency
response teams with patients, and provide care directly to those with
less serious injuries and other health-related issues. MRC volunteers
may also serve a vital role by assisting their communities with ongoing
public health needs (e.g., immunizations, screenings, health and
nutrition education, and volunteering in community health centers and
local hospitals). Once established, how the local MRC Unit is utilized
will be decided locally. The MRC unit will make decisions, with local
officials, including the local Citizen Corps Council, on when the
community Medical Reserve Corps is activated during a local emergency.
For more information, including the booklet Medical Reserve Corps - A
Guide for Local Leaders, visit the Medical Reserve Corps homepage.
Neighborhood Watch is 1 of the oldest and best-known crime prevention concepts in North America. In the late 1960s, an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas and involving local citizens. The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) responded, creating the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to assist citizens and law enforcement
In 2002, the NSA in partnership with USA Freedom Corps, Citizen Corps and the U.S. Department of Justice launched USAonWatch, the face of the revitalized Neighborhood Watch Initiative, which represents the expanded role of watch programs throughout the United States. USAonWatch empowers citizens to become active in homeland security efforts through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. Many neighborhoods already have established watch groups that are vibrant, effective, and can take on this expanded role with ease. For neighborhoods without thriving groups, the renewed emphasis on emergency preparedness and response may provide the right incentive for citizens to participate in Neighborhood Watch in their community. To learn more, visit http://www.nnw.org/ and browse the site.
Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS)
The VIPS Program provides support and resources for agencies interested
in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish
to volunteer their time and skills with a law enforcement agency. The
program's ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local
law enforcement to utilize volunteers. The International Association of
Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages the VIPS Program in partnership with the
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), office of Justice Programs, U.S.
Department of Justice.
about promising practices being used in existing VIPS programs and
share this information with law enforcement agencies that want to expand
Increase the use of volunteers in existing programs.
Help citizens learn about and become involved in VIPS programs in their communities.
Help agencies without volunteer programs get them started.
The foundation of VIPS is the website www.Policevolunteers.org,
which serves as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies
and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs.
This website offers:
directory of law enforcement volunteer programs and volunteer
opportunities available in law enforcement agencies across the country
A library of sample documents and forms, including policies and procedures, training materials, and screening forms
Programs: Enhancing Public Safety by Leveraging Resources, a resource
guide for law enforcement agencies interested in starting a volunteer
VIPS in Focus, a publication series that builds on this
resource guide, addressing specific elements and issues related to law
enforcement volunteer programs
A model policy developed in collaboration with the IACP's National Law Enforcement Policy Center.
Training courses for law enforcement volunteer coordinators
technical assistance program to help local agencies determine their
volunteer needs and design programs that will effectively meet those
A mentor program that pairs new law enforcement volunteer
coordinators in need of support with experienced coordinators.
VIPS Info, a monthly electronic newsletter
that provides news and events about the VIPS Program and law enforcement
volunteer activities across the country
VIPS in the News, a
bimonthly electronic newsletter recognizing law enforcement volunteer
programs that have recently been in the news
VIPS to VIPS, a moderated online discussion group for law enforcement volunteer program leaders to share information and ideas