Moreton Bay Police are on the hunt for more community-minded volunteers who are passionate about serving their community to sign up for the Volunteers in Policing program.
The community-based program, developed by the Queensland Police Service, trains volunteers from the local community to assist them in a range of tasks including customer service, crime prevention initiatives and providing support and assistance to victims of crime.
To find out more about the role, Moreton Daily spoke to several volunteers to find out why they registered for the program and what they love most about helping the police.
If you are interested in volunteering, visit www.police.qld.gov.au
While working as a Volunteer in Policing, Peter has accumulated more than 2700 hours of volunteer service.
He joined the Sunshine Coast District Crime Prevention Unit in 2014 but moved to the Moreton Police District 12 months ago.
In his role, Peter assists Senior Constable Gemma Bruce from the Caboolture Police Station.
As the son of a veteran police officer, Peter has extensive knowledge on what is required to assist the men and women in blue.
“My father was a 40-year Queensland Police Officer. I was four days old when I went to my first station and stayed in that environment until I was 22, as I went to follow my own career (technology in the mining and health sectors),” Peter said.
“In those early years I was often called upon as a ‘volunteer’.
“When asked to join as a volunteer in 2014, I was looking for something to keep me active and the brain ticking, so with my close contact over the years it seemed like the best thing to do.”
Peter has been trained in many different areas including disaster management, victims of crime, armed robbery and cybercrime.
He has also visited retirement villages and Over 50’s Resorts to deliver safety presentations to the older generation. He has provided safety messages to more than 7300 people.
Peter says the relationships made between the police and the volunteers are extremely rewarding and beneficial in helping to keep the community safe.
“For the volunteer it gives them the opportunity to give back to the community in which they live,” he says.
“For the Queensland Police Service, it allows interaction with the community that sworn officers have insufficient time to deal with.
When Helen moved to the Sunshine State from Victoria, she was looking for ways to meet new people.
She signed up to become a Volunteer in Policing and has never looked back.
“I had left full time work and moved from Melbourne to Queensland, and I thought it was time to do something because I wanted to give back to the community,” Helen said.
“I have been volunteering here for almost two-and-a-half years. I help with event management when there are community events on.
“I also go out and talk to the community and assist Sergeant Sarah Grayson (From the Redcliffe Police Station) in any other administration ways I can.”
Helen loves the support she gets from the team, and it is for that reason she would encourage others to sign up.
“It’s fantastic being in a very supportive team,” she said.
“It’s also good for your social skills, as you get to meet lots of people.”
It is coming up to the one-year anniversary since Jay signed up to become a Volunteer in Policing.
Jay said he being there at the station helps free up more time for the officers to do their duties.
“Volunteers in Policing is important to the police service because they are limited with resources,” he said.
“In today’s world, there are so many different operations that the police have to undertake, and they can only be in so many different places at many different times.
“The best way I can describe what we do is…. we assist in modern day policing and try to help the community and build those connections from a resident’s level to the police.”
Jay said the role also gives him an insight into the other side of the blue uniform, and would encourage others to help out where they can.
“I would certainly encourage anyone to join to be a volunteer not only to give something back to their community, but to also see what police do in their local area.”
It has been a few years since Ruth joined the Volunteering in Police program, but she still loves going into the station.
“I have been volunteering since 2019,” she said.
“I get to do all sorts of different things, meet different people, and go to different places.
“Some of the work I do is administration duties, Neighbourhood Watch, help out at community events – a whole multi-mix of stuff.”
The friendships Ruth has formed is one aspect of the role she loves the most. She would encourage others to come and join their “family”.
“Come and join the family. It is a real family, community orientated, and fun environment that we work in.”
The blue uniform has been engraved in Bruce’s skin, as he used to be a police officer in New South Wales.
“Policing is my background. I was in the police, and my son is also in the police,” he said.
“I retired up here and then I was looking for things to do. I joined the Coast Guard originally and did a couple of years there.
“Then I met Sergeant Sarah and she got me interested in the Volunteers in Policing program.
“I like the comradery, helping out at court, and getting out and talking to people.”
Knowing how demanding the role of a police officer can be, Bruce said volunteers can alleviate some of that stress to officers.
“It’s a great volunteer organisation and does help to keep the police free to do the work they need to do,” he said.
Volunteering has been in Mike’s blood for more than five decades, but he still loves it just as much today as he did in the beginning.
“I’ve been a member of a surf club since 1969 so I’m used to volunteering and doing something for the community,” he said.
“When it came to volunteering with the police, I saw somebody in the uniform and I thought to myself, I could do that.
“I do a variety of things – events, spreading the word on crime prevention, and I also sometimes fill in at the courthouse.”
According to Mike, volunteering is the easiest thing in the world to do.
“Don’t be afraid to do it and give it a try. Just come and help. It doesn’t hurt, all you need is a bit of time.”