Texas Woman Supports Local Police Through “Citizens on Patrol” Program
61-year-old Sarah Faith is wheelchair-bound and only has the use of her right arm and leg, however this Farmers Branch, Texas resident has not let her disability stand in the way of supporting her local police department.
As a member of the Farmers Branch Police Department’s “Citizens on Patrol” program, Sarah’s volunteerism means police officers have more time to dedicate to crime prevention, enforcement activities and protecting the community. Participating in vehicle patrols, warrant calling and other related non-enforcement duties that help to support the police department, Sarah’s service has translated into increased safety and security for her community.
Giving back to those charged to serve and protect her community, Sarah is today’s Daily Point of Light award honoree. Points of Light spoke to Sarah to learn more about her volunteerism with Citizens on Patrol.
What inspires you to volunteer?
I wanted to show support for the police department. They leave their families every day not knowing if they will return home at the end of their shift. I believe that if I can help inside the department with smaller tasks, it will free up more time and money for officers to do more to protect and serve our community.
Describe your role with Citizens on Patrol Program:
I volunteer twice a week for Citizens on Patrol, and I mostly work for the court side of the police department. In our community, there are hundreds of unpaid violations that have turned into warrants. I make a courtesy call to the defendant warning them of their impending arrest at their place of business. If I am successful in getting them to call the court for payment or other available options, it clears the warrant and the police do not have to make the arrest, keeping the officer from harm’s way. I also perform database work for the court and administrative duties periodically for the volunteer liaison.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
The police officers are not big, bad people standing around waiting to zap you with citations, but are truly dedicated to protect and serve.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
If you have the time and want to do something rewarding and helpful for your community, this opportunity is for you. Through this service, you will learn to respect what our officers do on a daily basis.
You were named the Citizens on Patrol Volunteer of the Year in 2015. How did that make you feel?
I was very surprised and proud to be recognized for my time. It has challenged me to work even harder and recruit more volunteers to the program.
How can readers help?
Many communities throughout the country have Citizens on Patrol volunteer groups. Please check the National Association for Citizens on Patrol website for more information: http://www.nacop.org/whatarecop.htm.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Sarah Faith? Click here for local volunteer opportunities.