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DPS Citizens Academy

How Can I Become a Volunteer?

The Southlake Department of Public Safety Citizens Academy is a program designed to provide members of the community with a working knowledge of Southlake DPS. The Academy is held at least once a year (usually in the fall). Classes meet once a week for 13 weeks. Academy attendance increases awareness about the Public Safety Department and helps to engage citizens in the community. The program helps to forge better communications between Southlake residents and public safety staff members, often building lifelong relationships in the process. Citizens attending the academy learn about fire and police operations in Southlake through classroom discussions, and hands-on activities: weapons demonstrations at the firing range, participation in a controlled burn, and the use of police and fire equipment. Each class member is also required to complete ride-a-long sessions with police officers and firefighters.

For more information on this unique and exciting program please contact Renni Burt at 817-748-8349. To apply for the next DPS Citizens' Academy, fill out an application. You can also print and mail, fax, e-mail, or drop it off at: 2100 W. Southlake Boulevard, Southlake, TX 76092.

Southlake Citizens DPS Association
The Southlake DPS Citizens Association (SDCA) members are graduates of the DPS Citizens Academy who choose to move into areas of service after completing the academy. Members of SDCA seek to improve the relationship between the citizens and the Department of Public Safety. SDCA is the association "parent group" of our public safety volunteer groups; although membership in SDCA is not required to participate in volunteer activities, most choose to join to help maintain the strength, organization and professionalism of the various volunteer groups.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
When a disaster strikes, CERT volunteers spring into action. CERT is a group of organized disaster workers with specialized training who provide assistance in the community in the event of an emergency or crisis. CERT is vitally important to both the community and Southlake public safety members, as it teams civilian forces with public safety resources to maximize response during an emergency.

A eight-week CERT Course is offered at the Southlake DPS West Facility for those interested in becoming a team member. At the end of the training course, participants test their skills in a mock disaster exercise. Southlake DPS offers continuing education to CERT members, as well as its other volunteer groups.

To learn more about this program, contact Ben Williamson at 817-748-8624 or visit the CERT Website.

Citizens on Patrol (COPS)
Members of Southlake Citizens on Patrol are the eyes and ears of the police department. As graduates of the DPS Citizens Academy, these members choose to serve in a patrol capacity. COPS patrol neighborhoods, business areas and parks, reporting any suspicious or criminal activity to the police.

Southlake COPS receive continual hands-on training to ensure their safety and increase their effectiveness. COPS members wear identifiable uniforms and drive a marked vehicle during their tours of duty, which are scheduled for peak activity periods, emergency situations and major city events. In addition to patrol duties, COPS assist with traffic control, surveillance details, roadside assistance and house watch checks. The Southlake COPS program has become a viable presence in the city, serving as liaisons between public safety and the community.

Questions about Southlake COPS may be directed to Valerie Snyder at 817-748-8137.

Volunteers in Policing (VIPS)
In 2002, President George W. Bush created USA Freedom Corps to build on the countless acts of service, sacrifice, and generosity that followed September 11. When he announced USAFC in his State of the Union address, he called on all Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves. The Volunteers in Policing program was born out of that initiative. Southlake Police Services recently added a VIPS component to its volunteer services. VIPS is a national program designed for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and training to provide support and added resources to their local law enforcement agency. Southlake VIPS give back by assisting in many areas of DPS. Individuals who wish to serve through VIPS must first complete the DPS Citizen's Academy. The Academy requires an application process and criminal background check.

Please direct questions on the VIPS to Renni Burt by calling 817-748-8349.

DPS Chaplains
Participating chaplains of local churches are part of the DPS Chaplains program. These chaplains work through Southlake DPS to provide support to community members faced with traumatic events, such as death, suicide, sexual assault, or losing a home due to fire. Our chaplains represent various religions and are available to everyone. In addition to serving the community, DPS Chaplains are available to City of Southlake employees seeking guidance, counseling, or support in personal, spiritual, or ethical matters.

To become involved in this vital community resource contact Valerie Snyder at 817-748-8137.

Fire Rehab
Firefighting is a strenuous job, carried out in all weather conditions. The risk of heat stress to firefighters is critically high, so the Southlake Fire Services formed our own Fire Rehab program. The team's purpose is to ensure that the physical condition of personnel at an emergency scene or training exercise does not deteriorate to a point that affects the operation's safety and integrity.

Upon request, the team members respond to fire scenes to provide rehab support to firefighters. Rehab members respond in a specially equipped vehicle that contains drinks and supplies needed to keep firefighters hydrated. The need for these on-scene rehab efforts cannot be understated: they protect the firefighters’ health and safety.

Individuals interested in the Rehab program should contact Renni Burt at 817--8349.

Southlake Mounted Patrol
Southlake Mounted Patrol is a non-profit volunteer organization that provides courtesy patrols throughout the trails at Lake Grapevine. Mounted Patrol members train through Southlake DPS to assist in emergency operations; especially those in the park and lake areas where the only access may be on horseback. Members provide their own horse and tack gear and train both with and without their mount.

The Mounted Patrol team is an active group that takes pride in their contributions to the community. In addition to providing extra security for park and lake patrons, Southlake Mounted Patrol represents the city in parades, business openings, festival events and major city events.

For more information about the Southlake Mounted Patrol please contact Valerie Snyder at 817-748-8137, David Alexander at 817-251-1156 or Julie Landesberg at 817-430-4077.

Renni Burt
Fire Department
(817) 748-8349

Valerie Snyder
Police Department
(817) 748-8173

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