Colorado Springs is a beautiful community with a very active volunteer population who generously invest their time and heart into a city they love.
One of the fastest growing volunteer groups are those who support public safety organizations - police and fire. The Community Advancing Public Safety (CAPS) is a new partnership between citizens and the city’s public safety guardians of police and fire.
The CAPS mission is to enhance quality of life through volunteer public safety services to the community and they do it quite well!
In 2011, the CAPS Program grew to almost 450 public safety volunteers supporting police and fire departments, a 25% increase in volunteers over the year prior. During that time, those volunteers dedicated over 48,000 service hours through the following programs:
Downtown Ambassador Program: Volunteers strolled throughout the downtown area, providing customer service to guests and merchants during the 2011 holiday shopping season. They served as extra eyes and ears for public safety.
Phase II of the program is planned for the summer months. Ambassadors are assisting with gathering business emergency contact information for the city’s 9-1-1 Communications Center, so it is readily available in case of an emergency.
Wildfire Mitigation: Volunteers have also managed the Chipping Program where they removed over 300 tons of slash mulch from 100 acres in 2011 in an attempt to mitigate fire danger. Over 1700 homes participated in this program across the city.
The Neighborhood Watch Program. This is a community-police crime prevention partnership. It’s led by a volunteer and under supervision of the city’s Crime Prevention Officers with over 800 block captains participating.
Victim Advocacy Unit: The Colorado Springs Police Department’s Victim Advocacy Unit assists victims of crime by providing immediate crisis intervention, follow-up support and information on victim rights and community resources. Over 20 volunteers are attending CSPD’s new 10 week Victim Advocacy Training Academy, expanding the previous volunteer base to provide a broader support to victims.
Want to get involved?
- Join CAPS by visiting SpringsCAPS.org and find the online volunteer application link
- Sign up for a citizen ride-along with either the Fire Department or Police Department. There is no waiting, with 20 fire stations and four police stations from which to choose.
- Register for the CSPD’s Citizen’s Academy, an 11-week series of informative sessions at a variety of locations that give an inside look at police operations.
Colorado Springs is fortunate to have so many civic-minded citizens willing to get involved. Stay tuned for more stories in the future on community members who are help to make things better – and safer – all around the town!