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Due to the increased emphasis on homeland security, the Oxford Police Department has added a new program called VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service). Members of this team are uniformed civilian non-sworn volunteers who enhance the security of Oxford by adding extra eyes and ears in the community. In order to become a member of this team, the citizens attend a 30 hour Police Citizens Academy training course held at the Oxford Police Department.

Some of the topics covered in the seven session training program are:

  • Police ethics and responsibilities/policing strategies and philosophy
  • Basic criminal law review/search and seizure/use of force
  • Uniform patrol operations/police equipment/computers/cameras
  • Criminal investigations/crime scene investigations/evidence/property
  • Traffic enforcement/DWI/radar/pursuit policy
  • Firearms training review/defensive tactics/traffic control
  • Drug investigations/surveillance techniques/equipment

After graduating from the citizens police academy, VIPS provide a variety of functions including field assistance to police officers, traffic control, crime prevention programs, emergency communications assistance, non-hazardous surveillance, special event security etc ... In the VIPS patrol unit the Oxford Police Department VIPS perform neighborhood and business patrol, provide street lights out counts, provide abandoned and junk cars counts, and conduct light surveillance at selected locations.

Walking assignments include the downtown area, shopping centers, residential neighborhoods and athletic fields. In some instances a VIPS will ride-along with a uniformed patrol officer to provide a second person in a patrol unit for specified duties.

The VIPS volunteer program increases the presence of the police force and is an important tool in maintaining vigilance. The Police Department commends them for their willingness to serve.