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Police Volunteers aid in anti-theft campaign

Proudly displaying their “Police Services Volunteer” uniforms, some of Dana Point’s finest have begun a very important new task….personal follow-up visits to neighborhoods recently affected by theft.  Every week, members of the van patrol unit take to the streets with stickers, keychains, literature and other information relating to the “Hide It, Lock It, Or Lose It” campaign in an effect to reduce thefts, specifically from unlocked vehicles and unsecured garages and homes.

 “We are very fortunate to be able to provide this extra level of service to the residents of Dana Point.  It’s a direct action in response to criminal activity in a neighborhood, in an effort to prevent people from being victimized,” says Community Services Officer Cassie Levine.

 The VIPS (Volunteers in Police Services) program has three separate volunteer areas. These include: Van Patrol, Bike Patrol and Clerical Support.  Each one provides a separate, but very important service to the community.  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.

“I have always taken an interest in the operations of law enforcement.  I have a lot of pride for the city I live in and wanted to help keep it safer” says VIP Barbara Zakaryan.  “When I am out in the van doing neighborhood follow-up visits, it’s great to educate the public about the high occurrence of thefts.  A lot of them have not yet heard about the program or were completely unaware of activity on their streets.  We pass our stickers and give them information on how to prevent themselves from becoming a victim and they really appreciate it!”  she says.

If you would like more information or are interested in becoming a member of the VIPS program, please contact Deputy Brett Gardner at 949-248-3517 or blgardner@ocsd.org

  VIP Barbara Zakaryan assists at the front counter of Police Services taking phone calls and directing the public

 VIPS Bill McArtney and Bill Barcroft are just a couple members of the weekly van patrol unit

  Helping spread the word about the “Hide It, Lock It, Or Lose It” campaign.  Stickers, postcards and other

                                       information is available and distributed every week in various Dana Point neighborhoods