The Citizen Service Unit (CSU) was initiated in August 2004 and the first volunteer hit the street November of that year.
The demands imposed on modern day law enforcement have never been greater than they are now in the post 9-11 era. The CSU program is designed to augment the patrol function to afford our sworn personnel more time for proactive law enforcement, community policing, and follow-up investigations. CSU volunteers are specially-trained by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office to respond to many non-emergency and routine calls for service that do not require law enforcement or regulatory authority.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office must meet the challenges of modern law enforcement against a backdrop of limited resources. We are accomplishing that goal by making community members active participants in the process of crime control and prevention. This includes:
DUI Checkpoints: The Citizen Service Unit has recently begun working as support at Driving Under the Influence (DUI) checkpoint operations by covering traffic-related posts and thereby freeing additional deputies to investigate more DUI cases.
Traffic Crash Investigation: A specially trained core group of CSU patrol volunteers have begun investigating and reporting on minor traffic crashes in Pasco County. These members were trained in a state approved course offered by the Florida Highway Patrol. This partnership benefits the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and most importantly, the citizen responding to and investigating the accident scene in a timely manner.
CSU volunteers have also lent critical support to special operations such as the Chasco Fiesta, holiday parades, and hurricane response efforts.
The Citizen Service Unit is a registered affiliate of the national Volunteers in Policing Services (VIPS) initiative (http://www.policevolunteers.org/). The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) (http://www.theiacp.org/) manages and implements the VIPS Program in partnership with and on behalf of the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.
Want to make a difference in your community? Become a CSU member!
Who are we looking for?
Citizens who have the desire to become participants in their own security and make a marked difference in both public safety and the quality of life in their communities by becoming collaborative partners with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
How can I join and what are the qualifications? Candidates must pass a background check and successfully complete the basic training academy to qualify. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license to apply. There are no age caps on applying; the average age of our VIPS volunteer is currently 63 years of age.
The CSU Training Academy is approximately 70 hours long and meets weekly. There is a field training program that follows the basic academy training. Field training is goal-driven and tailored to the individual volunteer’s skill level and availability. CSU members attend quarterly in-service training, similar to that of our certified deputies, to learn additional skills and new policies and procedures.
Interested citizens can pick up an application for the Citizen Service Unit at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Human Resources Office located at 8700 Citizen Drive in New Port Richey. To receive an application by mail, applicants may telephone Human Resources at 727-844-7791 or Toll Free 1-800-854-2862 extension 7791.
Want to learn more?
Interested citizens can learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office by contacting VIPS Coordinator Sergeant Jason Marques at:
VIPS Main Office: 727-815-7035
Human Resources: 727-844-7791
You may also request our VIPS coordinator to visit your local community, church, business, or civic organization to discuss volunteer opportunities!
During 2009, Sheriff’s Office Volunteers worked 49,336 hours. These hours include the following services or units: Courthouse security, Civil Process, speed trailer deployment, Criminal Investigative Division, Safety Town, Warrants, Communications, fingerprinting, Chaplains, Reserve Deputies, Forensics, Property Evidence, and Seniors vs. Crime.
Sheriff’s Alumni Volunteers worked 5,381 hours Total Hours: 54,717
Total People who volunteered: 532
In-Kind Contribution saved Pasco taxpayers $1,108,022.90
Adults Printed: 6,599, Children Printed: 1,567
District 2 Deployments: 66
District 1 & 3 Deployments: 45