The Volunteers In Police Support (VIPS) program is the volunteer component of Dana Point Police Services. The City has 22 members in the program, who perform valuable tasks that save the City a substantial amount of money: approximately $103,000 was saved using volunteers. In addition, the VIPS issued approximately $66,000 worth of parking citations during 1999.
The VIPS program has four separate volunteer areas. Each one provides a separate, but very important service to the community. In addition to the areas listed below, the VIPS help out at every special event in town with traffic and crowd control. Without their assistance at special events, Police Services would incur significantly higher overtime expenditures for these events.
Members patrol the City in a marked VIPS vehicle. They serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for Police Services looking for suspicious activities, roadway hazards, or any other problems. During their travels, they routinely check City parks and other facilities, and look for illegally parked vehicles. They also make daily checks of residents' homes during vacation patrols. Another important function of the Van Patrol is assisting the City's Code Enforcement department. VIPS checks neighborhoods and the City right-of-way for illegally posted signs, houses without house numbers, and improperly stored trash cans.
The Bicycle Patrol functions much like the Van Patrol, but focuses primarily on the beach areas and the Dana Point Harbor Area. Our pedaling VIPS work in teams of two, looking for anything suspicious and issuing citations to illegally parked vehicles.
Our Clerical Support team provides invaluable assistance to Police Services and other departments within the City. The VIPS compile a variety of statistical reports and information updates. These documents assist our patrol deputies, allowing them to keep up to date on crime patterns and problem areas. In addition to assisting Police Services, the VIPS assist other City departments with their clerical tasks.
The Dana Point Police Services Neighborhood Watch program is one of the best in the region. We currently have over 180 Block Captains representing the community. We host four quarterly meetings to help keep the Block Captains informed about activities occurring in the community. The Block Captains, in turn, advise the residents in their area. We also publish a community crime prevention publication, Dana Point Watch, in addition to offering free home inspections and individual Neighborhood Watch presentations.