The Pima County Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers (SAV) is a volunteer oriented, non-profit organization that was started in 1982. Since that time, the organization has provided some 477,330 volunteer hours. This equates to roughly 3500 hours per month in 1998 alone. These volunteer hours have saved the department $6,850,000. The tremendous savings to the taxpayers and the manpower provided by SAV are invaluable.
Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers is made up of more 250 men and women from throughout Pima County. The men and women come from all walks of life and bring with them a variety of skills and expertise. SAV can be found woven within most of the department's districts and functions. They are active in crime prevention, emergency response, district patrol, fingerprinting, and many other areas. The volunteers are often utilized in managing large crime scenes, by providing security and support services to investigators and equipment deployment.
Crime prevention by law enforcement agencies is essential in reducing the amount of crime in a community. Nationwide, a greater emphasis has been placed on developing effective crime prevention programs. The Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers are a major part of the Pima County Sheriff Department's crime prevention efforts. SAV manages the following crime prevention programs: Video ID, Business Identification, Security Survey program, and Neighborhood Watch. The cornerstone of SAV's crime prevention efforts is the Neighborhood Watch Program, which is run entirely by these volunteers. They actively promote the program and make presentations to neighborhood groups. Currently there are over 200 active watches in neighborhoods throughout Pima County.
Another important area within the department where the volunteers provide assistance is in the area of Emergency Response. Pima County is the seventh largest county in the United States. It encompasses over 9,200 square miles where the terrain ranges from desert to mountains. Due to the size and geographic location they are called on to respond to a variety of emergencies brought on by nature such as floods, and excessive snow. SAV has been responsible for tasks that include closing down roads and guarding downed power lines.