Volunteer Services are a vital auxiliary function in the South Operations Division. Several programs are in place to support the operations of the division and provide community links to the citizens we serve. The Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) consists of trained personnel available for response to crisis situations and provides on scene support and counseling to victims of traumatic events. TIP is composed of citizen volunteers dedicated to serving the community.
The Chaplains Program originated as a small eight-member unit transferred to Police Services when the City of San Clemente began contractual law enforcement services with the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Carona directed the program to be expanded to every city and unincorporated area in the South County region and now consists of 32 Chaplains. The Chaplains program provides counseling and a support network for persons involved in traumatic situations. Chaplains undergo a stringent selection process and receive 40 hours of training. The Chaplains are called out to crisis situations or are present on duty riding in patrol. They have developed a high level of camaraderie with the Deputies assigned to South Operations and are a primary resource and support system for them.
A Senior Volunteer Program is in place and active functioning in most of the contract cities. These volunteers provide parking enforcement, assist with traffic control, and support special events.
A vast network of 1,060 Neighborhood Watch Block Captains blankets the South County region and provides vital information regarding suspicious and criminal activity. Recent trends reveal a sharp reduction in crime while calls for service have increased. This increase in patrol activity and drop in crime can be attributed in large part to the dedication of these individuals.