A look at Seal Beach’s public safety related volunteer programs

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Hi Sun Readers!  On one hand, we’re a little disappointed that we haven’t received any questions in a while.  On the other hand, we’re excited to get to share with you more about the Seal Beach Police Department.  This week we want to share our awesome volunteer programs, and how much they do for not only the PD, but also the entire City!  These folks who graciously volunteer their time to give back to this community are beyond compare.  Here are some of our programs:

CERT:

Seal Beach, in partnership with the cities of Cypress, Los Alamitos, La Palma, Buena Park, and Westminster, is a member of the West Orange County Regional Community Emergency Response Team, known as West County CERT. This program was developed to provide basic disaster response training to individuals for their own neighborhood. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

R.A.C.E.S.:

R.A.C.E.S. is a public service comprised of dedicated amateur radio operators, also known as HAMS. This group of volunteers provides communication personnel to the City of Seal Beach in times of extraordinary need. R.A.C.E.S. operations are in two basic functions. First, they observe and report on local conditions in their neighborhood during an emergency or disaster. Second, R.A.C.E.S. members are an important member of the Emergency Operations Center; they handle incoming emergency messaging traffic, operate the Amateur Television, assist with communications at the Incident Command Post, and more.

VIPs:

The Seal Beach Volunteers in Policing (VIP’s) is a program that uses the talents of citizens that are looking for a great place to volunteer. Some of the jobs that VIP’s preform in Seal Beach are fleet management, Volunteers on Patrol, vacation patrols, administrative type duties, and more. Members of the VIP’s are expected to serve 20 hours per month, attendance at a monthly volunteer meeting, and staff at two special assignments a year. VIP’s team members must submit to a complete background check, attend the VIP’s academy, and complete field training within six months of becoming a member of the VIP’s program.  Many of our volunteers have given over 7,000 hours to the community.  In fact, VIP Sukie Sayala was awarded for performing more than 13,000 hours since she started with the VIP’s program!  For reference, one year of full-time (40 hours per week) of work equates to 2,080 hours.

All of these volunteers do so much to help.  Without their assistance, we’d be much less effective and efficient at providing services to the community.  We could not be more proud of these men and women.  There is truly no way that we can thank them enough for their generosity and service to Seal Beach.  If you’re interested in these and other volunteer programs with the City of Seal Beach, please visit https://www.sealbeachca.gov/Departments/Police/Volunteer-Programs.  You can also call Emergency Services Coordinator Corporal Joe Garcia at (562) 799-4100 ext. 1145 or jfgarcia@sealbeachca.gov.

Lastly, please send us your questions.  As much as I love writing about all of these cool programs and people we have in Seal Beach, I also love answering your questions.  I can guarantee that if you’re curious about something police-related, there are several other readers who are also curious about the same thing.  Please email your questions to askacop@sealbeachca.gov.