Volunteer citizens patrol Hillsborough County

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 17:58:14-04
Some people helping Hillsborough County deputies protect our streets aren't getting paid. They're part of the Volunteer Citizen Patrol Program.
“A lot of things we can talk to the people and it takes care of the situation. If it gets out of hand, we call for a deputy," volunteer Rick Hafeman said.
Hafeman and Errol Fishman aren't deputies, they're volunteers. They can write parking tickets, help direct traffic and watch neighborhoods, all a big help to deputies. 
“Sometimes you see calls stacking up. There’s just nobody to respond to them, and if we can relieve a couple of deputies where they can respond to the calls I think that’s a big benefit to the community," Hafeman said.
They may not be getting paid, but these retirees have a good reason for going on patrol. 
“The appreciation of the public that we help out, and the smiles and the thanks that we get from them," Fishman said.
If you want to be a part of Citizen Patrol, the next training class is Monday. You have to be at least 19 years old, a U.S. citizen, have a valid driver's license, complete the VCPP Training Academy given by HCSO, attend monthly meetings and volunteer a minimum of 12 hours a month. 
“They can be part of the solution instead of just complaining about why is all this happening," Fishman said.
“We like to make a difference," Hafeman said. 
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