The PPD Volunteer program is comprised of more than 60 volunteers, interns and chaplains. Program participants range in age from high school students to 70 years+, with every age in between. We partner with Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College to mentor 8 Interns per semester to help cultivate an understanding of the law enforcement career path.
Our volunteers donate an average of 6,000 hours of community service time annually.
If you'd like to join or donate to the program, contact the Community Engagement Liaison, Jennifer Parsons-Pritchard, by phone (707-778-4458) or email ([email protected]).
Educational Outreach Volunteers
This part of our program addresses the safety and health needs of our diverse Petaluma populations and aims to support community members with resources and tools. Volunteers make presentations, table at events, and meet with community leaders. Topics covered in educational outreach include Human Trafficking Awareness, Scam-Fraud Identity Theft Prevention, Anti-Cyber-bullying and Media Education, Bike Safety, Teen and Transitional Youth Mental Health, DARE, and Every Fifteen Minutes Distracted Driving.
Volunteers in this program provide traffic control and pedestrian safety assistance at accidents and DUI check points, and at special events such as the Petaluma Gran Fondo, National Night Out, the Butter and Egg day parade, and organized sports events. VIPS also provide important administrative support back at Police headquarters, including entering data, putting together educational packets, delivering or picking up paperwork for the District Attorney's office, and providing volunteer patrol services at mobile home communities and public parks.
High School Volunteers
Several high schools in Petaluma require seniors to complete special projects and volunteer work in the community. Seniors who do projects with Petaluma Police Department explore different law enforcement responses to social issues, e.g., using Restorative Justice instead of jail time. The projects culminate in providing Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for social media sites, public presentations to educate the community and school campus awareness.
Petaluma's volunteer chaplains respond to calls for service requested by officers to assist families in crisis on scene with non-denominational counseling support. Our chaplains are ordained ministers who have received accreditation from the International Conference of Police Chaplains. Petaluma has six volunteer chaplains who donate about 400 hours a year!
The PPD educational programs are funded by grants awarded and through private and public donations made to our Petaluma Policing Foundation 501 (c) (3) not for profit.
Our volunteers are amazing. They provide that extra support we need to truly serve the community.
by Jennifer Parsons-Pritchard