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Galt Police Department lowers age requirement for volunteers

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Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 12:00 am

The Galt Police Department has dropped its age requirement for volunteers. The group that was once open only to senior citizens is now open to anyone age 21 or older.

Additionally, police volunteers can now assist in a number of departments including patrol, traffic, investigations and administration, according to Lt. Brian Vizzusi.

In Lodi, volunteers known as Police Partners are still required to be age 50 or older. Assignments include patrol duties, handicapped parking enforcement, clerical work, front desk reception and special events.

In November, Galt decided to expand the volunteer unit by expanding their duties and dropping the 55-year-old age requirement.

They held a volunteer open house in January, though they thought about canceling it when one of their own, Officer Kevin Tonn, was killed in the line of duty while investigation a routine burglary call.

But officials decided to hold the recruitment event anyway, with the thought that maybe a handful of people would attend.

Instead, the gathering drew 48 people; all but 13 submitted applications to be part of the department's expanded volunteer program, according to Vizzusi. He said it was a great showing from a community who wanted to help out.

Many of the potential volunteers who attended last month's meeting told Vizzusi they came because they wanted to help the city and the police department in the wake of Tonn's shooting death on Jan. 15.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is accepting applications from men and women interested in joining its VIPS — Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff — program.

Participants, who must be at least 18 years old, assist the department with a variety of duties, such as writing crime reports, performing residential security checks and assisting with neighborhood association groups. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least four hours per week, or 16 hours per month.

For more information regarding Galt's volunteer program, call police volunteer coordinator Lynn Hutchinson at 209-366-7056.

Applications for Sacramento County's program are available online at www.sacsheriff.com. For additional information, call Deputy Stephanie Landry, VIPS coordinator, at 916-874-4101, or email volunteers@sacsheriff.com.

To join the Partners team, call the Lodi Police Department Partners volunteer office at 209-333-6886, or pick up an application at the Lodi Police Department, 215 W. Elm St., Lodi. Those younger than 50 can become a cadet.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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