The Flint Police Department has a long history of utilizing citizen volunteers to supplement police resources in the operation of mini-stations and in traffic and crowd control during major events. Along with a history of police mini-stations Flint was one of the pioneers of community policing, specifically police foot patrols, and at one time the city had a very strong network of community organizations consisting of block clubs, crime watch and neighborhood associations. Mini-station officers were responsible for serving as the police department’s liaison to these community organizations, addressing crime and issues of social disorder which brought concern to residents. When the police department was restructured in the 1980s with a focus on vehicular patrols, the activity of the neighborhood groups diminished. When police resources began to shrink mini-station officers were reassigned to patrol.
The Blue Badge Volunteer Corps has become Flint’s umbrella initiative for recruiting and engaging a corps of citizen volunteers to fight crime and re-assert control over public space in Flint neighborhoods.
Mini-Station volunteers assist in each of the City’s mini-stations. The mini-stations support community policing and are used for various community activities and training programs. They also serve as neighborhood accessible locations for area residents seeking crime prevention information or to get assistance with using the Online Citizens Police Reporting system – COPLOGIC. Mini-station volunteers must complete the Blue Badge Volunteer Application Form and pass the required background check.
Police Volunteers assist in with traffic and crowd control for such events as the Crim, Back to the Bricks, National Night Out, Dignitary visits, etc. Volunteers also assist with many administrative and community relations service activities such as filing, entering pawnshop information into the computer, and front desk staffing. Police Volunteers must complete the Blue Badge Volunteer Application Form, pass the required background check and successfully complete all six modules of the Basic Police Volunteer Training Course.
Neighborhood-Based Volunteers, working individually or as part of a neighborhood-based organization, address neighborhood revitalization through various projects such as vacant lot clean-up, graffiti removal, tree planting and community garden development. These volunteers can be members of local block clubs or neighborhood associations, or affiliated with other community institutions such as a college or university; faith-based group; or service club. These volunteers are encouraged to become familiar with the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).
For additional information on becoming a Blue Badge Volunteer contact Officer Tanya Meeks at (810) 237-6926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.