Vancouver police looking for volunteers

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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The Vancouver Police Department, looking to bolster its volunteer program, is accepting applications for Neighbors on Watch through Jan. 24.

The volunteer group augments police efforts by patrolling neighborhoods on foot, bike or by vehicle to help search for missing people, locate stolen vehicles and aid detectives on special projects. Volunteers act as visible, non-confrontational crime prevention and detection.

Within the past two years, Neighbors on Watch volunteers located 77 stolen automobiles.

Currently, there are 100 volunteers that participate in the program, but agency spokeswoman Kim Kapp said they are hoping to get that number to 300.

Applicants for the training program must be U.S. citizens who live in Vancouver, can pass a background investigation and can dedicate four hours a month to public safety and crime prevention.

Those interested should contact Vancouver Police Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Cheney at 360-487-7490, or visit Vancouver Police Department.