For more than 20 years, a group of everyday people have given back to the Cape Coral community. And now, you can too simply by being part of the Cape Coral Police Department’s volunteer unit.
“Just about anyone can be a volunteer,” Jerry Monroe, a Volunteer Police Coordinator with the unit, said. “We have people from all walks of life. Basically male or female. There’s really no age restriction; most of ours are in their 60s and 70s.”
Jerry Monroe has been a part of the unit since 2009. He worked his way up to coordinator in the unit.
The unit is also a huge asset to the department.
“It saves well over $2 million a year in the amount of the actual manpower that they give us,” Master Sergent Allan Kolak with the Cape Coral Police Department said. “This is anything from manning the front desk [to] answering questions for information.”
They also go out and enforce parking and help direct traffic during accidents.
Monroe said they do not carry weapons or chase criminals, but being part of the unit is truly rewarding.
“To give back to the community, that’s one thing. And another thing: I’m retired and you just can’t sit around at home," he said. “And this is a very worthwhile course. It helps the police out and helps all the citizens in the city out.”
If you’re interested, you can apply at the Cape Coral Police Department. You’ll have to go through an application process, which includes a verbal interview and background checks.
From there you will go through a 40-hour academy learning the basics and what your duties will be. You will also go out with a field officer to practice.
“It’s six months and after that point if everything is satisfactory and they are comfortable and we are comfortable with them, they can go out on their own patrols,” Monroe said.