Volunteers in police service

Building a police-community partnership

VIPS, first launched locally in 2003, is a federal program which is managed and implemented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in partnership with, and on behalf of, the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps. The VIPS Program was originally funded locally through the Androscoggin County “Weed & Seed” Project, a federally funded grant.

The purpose of the VIPS program is for volunteers to assist their local law enforcement agencies in a wide range of roles and functions. Volunteers help fill critical gaps in program support and provide essential technical expertise. “This program gives individuals the opportunity to give back to their community in a meaningful way and to support local law enforcement agencies whose members often ‘wear several hats’ in these times of tightening budgets & ever-increasing costs,” says Chief of Police Phil Crowell, Jr. “Our volunteers help to maximize resources and provide services that the public wants but that sworn and civilian staff may not have the time to furnish.”

Program Coordinators recruit, screen and train volunteers who provide support in many areas, including:

  • data entry, clerical/administrative support & greeters
  • traffic control during special events and festivals (such as the Liberty Festival, the Balloon Festival and National Night Out)
  • high-visibility speed details using hand-held radar unit (data collection, no enforcement)
  • vacant house checks
  • towed vehicle standby
  • subpoena service
  • parking enforcement
  • shopping area parking lot patrols/shopper assistance during the holiday season and much, much more!


The VIPS program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of the APD to utilize volunteers, and to cultivate and make the most of the deep-seated traditions of service, citizenship, and responsibility in Androscoggin County. Volunteers work alongside our police officers to help to make our community safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation.

Volunteers in the APD VIPS program are required to submit an application and are subject to a background check. All applicants must be over the age of 18.

Questions about the APD volunteer program can be directed to Lieutenant Anthony Harrington, Support Services Commander,  at: aharrington@auburnmaine.gov.