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More members needed for the Eureka Volunteer Patrol
EUREKA- The Eureka Volunteer Patrol has logged about 54,000 hours of volunteer time assisting the Eureka Police Department. Now, officials with the EPD say they are looking to double the number of volunteers for the patrol.
Jack Hopkins is an original member of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol. He joined more than 18 years ago, when he was a general contractor.
"I've always been more proactive in the neighborhood and I wanted to give something back to eureka. It sounds kind of cliché, but I do owe something, and people can contribute in different ways," said Hopkins.
Now, he is a portrait photographer, but still spends twelve hours a month assisting the EPD in a number of ways.
"When I come down and pick up a car, and I go to a traffic scene or a power outage, and take over for an officer, and he can take off now and do what he's supposed to do, I feel good about that," Hopkins said.
"When officers are not on traffic post or things that are going to take a great deal of time, crime scene protection for instance, officers can be out being a little more proactive. So, if a person has a warrant or if a person is under the influence of meth or something else, than the officers can deal with that," said Chief Andrew Mills, the Police Chief of the Eureka Police Department.
The Eureka Volunteer Patrol currently has eight members, the lowest number of members since the patrol was formed in 1995.
"We feel like we're kind of strained ourselves. A number of us are getting older and some people travel, so not all eight are available all the time to put on the schedule," said Hopkins.
Any adults can join the Eureka Volunteer Patrol after completing training and passing the background check process.
“We're not asking them to do anything tactical. We're asking them to do things that are very safe and very straightforward," said Chief Mills.
"I think it's important that we get new members who are ethical, who you can count on to do the right thing when no one's looking, and someone who has the time," Hopkins said.
All eight members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol were awarded the Eureka Police Department’s Valor-Service Challenge Coin Award at last week’s city council meeting.