Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)

Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)

Volunteers can be an important part of any organization and are proven to be a valuable asset to law enforcement agencies. Many volunteer with their law enforcement to fulfill civic responsibility and to give back to officers that provide for their safety. Volunteering in law enforcement benefits the agency, the volunteer, and the community. 


VIPS LogoThe International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages and implements the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

The VIPS Program provides support and resources for agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a community law enforcement agency. The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state, local, campus, tribal, and territorial law enforcement to utilize volunteers. The VIPS staff shares information and resources with law enforcement agencies that want to expand their programs, increase the use of volunteers in existing programs, help citizens learn about and become involved in VIPS program.

Origin of VIPS

President George W. Bush created USA Freedom Corps (USAFC) to build on the countless acts of service, sacrifice, and generosity that followed September 11. When he announced USAFC in his 2002 State of the Union address, he called on all Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves. Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds. Citizen Corps partner programs build on the successful efforts in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. 

Start a Program

The VIPS Program offers a wealth of information and no-cost resources to enhance the capacity of law enforcement to utilize volunteers. We encourage you to request and/or download publications and network with other agencies through our directory of law enforcement volunteer programs.

Although the national VIPS Program was established in 2002, volunteers have been assisting law enforcement for decades. Many agencies already have volunteer-based activities and programs in place, such as explorer posts, chaplains, neighborhood watch, and citizens advisory boards.  As the VIPS Program is a locally-driven initiative, programs do not need to be called Volunteers in Police Service. 

The VIPS program no longer provides funding to agencies. The listed resources, however, can be utilized to build and promote future VIPS programs in any agency. 

Find Resources

Whether your agency is in the planning stages or has an established law enforcement volunteer program, the national VIPS Program provides an array of no-cost products and services to assist in the growth of volunteerism in law enforcement. We encourage you to take advantage of our publications, educational videos, and more. 


Volunteers in Police Service: The Executive Perspective This seven-minute video introduces the concept of law enforcement volunteerism to law enforcement executives and local decision makers. 

Introducing Volunteer Activities to Law Enforcement This 12-minute video, ideal for roll-call or academy training, introduces the role of volunteers to law enforcement personnel.

Introducing Law Enforcement Volunteerism to the Community This 13-minute video describes the breadth and scope of volunteer efforts in law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. It can be used as a recruitment video at neighborhood watch or community group meetings and events.

Engaging Youth through Volunteerism This 10-minute video explains how youth and adult volunteers in law enforcement agencies can engage youths in their community.

VIPS and Disaster Response This eight-minute video demonstrates how law enforcement volunteers can help their communities prepare for and respond to disasters.

Community Involvement in Campus Safety This 11-minute video highlights the breadth and scope of volunteer efforts in college and university law enforcement. 

Connect and Volunteer

You can search for opportunities to connect and volunteer in your area.  

Please contact our team for more information: cpe@theiacp.org. 

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