Volunteer Response Team Downtown Patrol's
The Volunteer Response Team is a program within Community Policing. The main designation of the VRT Program is downtown patrols. The downtown patrol is a program that has been conducted by Community Policing volunteers in the past. Community Policing is looking to reintegrate this program as one of its regular functions. The downtown patrols are to be coordinated by the VRT, Chair, and conducted by the Community Policing volunteers. Community Policing volunteers will be focused on crime prevention and community outreach.
Outlined below is the goal and objectives of the downtown patrol:
The goal of the downtown patrols are to assist the Belleville Police Service in building a working relationship with the Community based on mutual trust, understanding, and to represent the Belleville Police Service in both a pleasant and professional manner by being ambassadors to the community.
The downtown patrol's will allow Community Policing volunteers to interact with the public on a more formal and consistent basis. This presence will not only create awareness about Community Policing, but it will give the general public and merchants a way to voice their concerns. In return, we will present these concerns to the Belleville Police Service for their suggestions and review.
I believe having Community Policing volunteers visible on an ongoing basis will be beneficial to the downtown area by being the "eyes and the ears" for the officers on patrol. The patrols will help to create a sense of public safety and will assist in deterring criminal activity.
Conducting a Patrol
Community Policing volunteers are in the downtown area to provide a sense of security to the public and to assist the police service by observing and reporting any criminal or illegal activities that are being conducted. Community Policing volunteers will not, under any circumstances, confront nor be involved in any situations what so ever that is similar to a police officer's duties. Volunteers will be required to end their patrol, should any situation occur, and contact the Belleville Police Service for advice.
The downtown patrols are to be conducted at a minimum of two and a maximum of three volunteers in a group in day light hours. Prior to conducting a downtown patrol, volunteers must receive proper approval by the Community Policing Chair, executive and facilitator.
Upon conducting a downtown patrol, volunteers are to check into the Police Service and retrieve the "VRT? bag, which has the equipment and tools necessary to conduct the downtown patrols. Prior to leaving the Police Service volunteers must sign the bag out as this will signify the start of their patrol.
Volunteers are to patrol the area between Dundas St. to Station St. staying between Front St. and Pinnacle St. This will be the targeted patrol area. Ideally, volunteers will be permitted to walk down side streets in-between these locations and enter storefronts to take a moment to stop and say hello to the merchants, if they so choose. Upon completing the specified time for the patrol, volunteers are to write a basic report that will include the time they were in the downtown area, names of the volunteers involved in the patrol, and any persons or situations they may have encountered. Volunteers are to then return to the Police Service to sign-in the "VRT? bag. This will signify the end of their patrol.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Volunteers will be required to sign-in and sign-out before and after each patrol as to notify the police service when volunteers are in the area
- Record and Report any suspicious activity,
- Represent Community Policing and the Belleville Police Service in a professional manner,
- Record descriptions of persons and vehicles, when due to the circumstances, and in the opinion of patrol members, it is appropriate to do so,
- Contact the Belleville Police Service immediately if a crime, or evidence of a crime is discovered,
- If evidence of a crime is discovered, protect the crime scene to the full extent possible. DO NOT EVER TAMPER WITH EVIDENCE,
- Volunteers of the patrol will render assistance to the police ONLY IF requested to do so,
- Complete a patrol report at the end of each shift,
- DO NOT under any circumstance engage any persons in a confrontational manner,
- Wear distinguishing marking/identification as decided by the Chair and committee,
- Once issued, all volunteers will carry an individual identification card identifying them as volunteers
When to contact the Police:
- To report any life threatening situation
- To report crimes in progress, ie: break and enter, thefts, serious property damage such as windows being smashed, fires etc.
- Gathering of individuals engaged in disturbances and/or unlawful behaviour