There are a wide variety of tasks that can be performed by volunteers, ranging from administrative work, to managing a police department program, to providing professional services, to assisting officers on patrol, to coordinating special events. Functions each volunteer performs are worked out when he or she begins work, and written down in a formal position description (volunteers who are working within the scope of their position description enjoy significant protections from liability under federal law).
Because some volunteer positions involve direct access to law enforcement information on the same basis as paid staff, and because all volunteers have occasional access to law enforcement information, the Paradise Valley Police Department has a formal recruiting and screening process. The process begins with an extensive application, similar to what a police officer applicant fills out, an oral interview by a panel of police department employees and volunteers, fingerprinting, and a background check. There is no charge for any part of this process, including fingerprinting.
Homeland Security/Crime Prevention Volunteers
These are unarmed volunteers with a distinctive fluorescent yellow police volunteer vest and cap who drive marked patrol cars in pairs. They conduct Vacation Watch checks, hand out fliers at trail-head parking areas and construction sites, survey Vacation Watch homes for wildfire hazards, provide police presence in areas where specific crimes have occurred, direct traffic and man control points for Presidential visits and emergency situations including fires, assist with special Town events and perform a wide variety of other tasks as needed.