COMMUNITY & CITIZEN POLICE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Community & Citizen Police Assistance Programs
Volunteers can be an important part of any organization, and their assistance is proven to be a valuable asset to law enforcement agencies. Many citizens partner with local law enforcement to fulfill civic responsibility goals as well as a way to give back to the officers that provide for their safety. Volunteering in law enforcement benefits the agency, the volunteer, and the community.
Citizens Assisting Police in Apex (CAPA)
In Apex, North Carolina, Citizens Assisting Police in Apex (CAPA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization existing in partnership with the Apex Police Department. CAPA members assist the APD, in support roles and without pay. Members do not carry weapons, cannot make arrests and are NOT sworn officers. CAPA members are volunteers committed to ‘serving those who serve’.
CAPA is highly visible at Town events such as Apex Peakfest, Peak City Pig Fest, Apex Music Festival, Apex Night Out, Christmas with a Cop, Town Parades and many more. Members assist with traffic flow, crowd management and are the eyes and ears of the Apex Police Department. CAPA also provides child and senior medical IDs at several events throughout the year, and assists the APD with their charitable events supporting Special Olympics of NC and their many community outreach programs serving the Town of Apex.
Before becoming CAPA member, a volunteer must successfully complete Apex’s Community Police Academy which offers residents a unique opportunity to become familiar with the operations of the Department.
During this 10-week Community Police Academy course, which meets 1 evening a week, attendees have the opportunity to talk with representatives of each unit and division in the department, including:
Criminal Law and Procedure
Traffic Stops and DWI Arrest
Other topics, such as the recruitment process for new officers, agency accreditation and crime prevention are also addressed. However, the Community Police Academy is not intended to turn attendees into certified or reserve police officers. Class members will have no police powers.
CAPA’s Mission: CAPA volunteers are committed to serving the Apex Police Department by assisting in administrative, non-police roles, thereby freeing up Officers so they may more effectively perform their duties. CAPA volunteers are also committed to serving the Town of Apex and community, as ambassadors and diplomats, by providing resources and services that enhance the Peak of Good Living’s quality of life.
In order to take the course and become a CAPA volunteer, please visit CAPA’s website at ApexCAPA.org.
In Cary, North Carolina, the police department formalized the CAP Team program in the summer of 2000 after Citizen Police Academy graduates asked for a way to continue volunteering with the department. By 2017, the CAP Team has grown from 31 volunteers to approximately 170 members, and is one of three programs in North Carolina recognized by Volunteers in Police Service - a national initiative which began in 2002 as part of the USA Freedom Corps. CAP Team members provide a valuable service to the community by donating thousands of volunteer hours per year; providing assistance at public events, child safety seat installations, performing clerical duties, and promoting Community Watch programs. They do not carry weapons and do not make arrests.
Before becoming a CAP Team member in Cary, volunteers must successfully complete Cary's Citizens Police Academy and receive training in such responsibilities as report writing.
The Above are just 2 examples of towns in North Carolina that have citizen volunteer organizations. Please contact the police department in your own community to find out if there are ways you can assist them as a volunteer.
Drew Ludlow is the current President of the Citizens Assisting Police in Apex (CAPA), and a volunteer with the Regency Park Partnership. If you have any questions about Citizen Police Assistance Programs, you can email Drew at email@example.com