Volunteers in Police Service receive awards for service to community

From Staff Reports

May 13, 2008 - More than a dozen members of Volunteers in Police Service, an auxiliary of Sulphur Springs Police Department, recently received presidential recognition for their service to the community. Their accomplishments were also noted in "Citizens Corps" publication as well.

The awards were presented to the 14 individuals during a VIPS awards ceremony held recently at B&B steak house, by Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk and Lt. Rex Morgan. Each received a President's Volunteer Service Award and a certificate of recognition from Gov. Rick Perry.

Bayuk extended his thanks on behalf of the community and police department for their service to the community, noting that their presence at local shopping areas has helped reduce the number of vehicle burglaries and shoplifting incidents.

The recipients received awards for their varied levels of service in Sulphur Springs as VIPS. Bobby Brown, Dan Phillips, Delores Brown, John Forister, Lisa Hooten, Mike Whittacre, Phillip Anderson, Randell Blakemore, Tom Sanderson and Yolanda Williams were all awarded bronze service awards for dedicating at least 100 hours up to 249 hours of their time serving the community. Becky Sanderson, David Bennett and Joyce Vaginault were each awarded silver president awards for dedicating 250 to 499 hours community service. Lisa Birney was honored with a gold President's Volunteer Service Award for dedicating more than 500 hours of her time as a community volunteer.

The President's Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families and groups that set a standard for volunteer service in their community through the number of hours they donate during a 12-month period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime.

The program was started as a means to encourage a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspire peope to make volunteering a central part of their lives. It followed President George W. Bush's 2002 challenge to all Americans to dedicate at least 4,000 hours or two years of service to others over the course of their lifetime.

In addition to patrolling shopping areas, VIPS also check to make sure those parking in handicap spots have the proper placard permitting them to do so, issuing tickets to violators. They also volunteer at parades and community events, and in a number of other ways of assisting police and the city. Their service frees up officers to respond to priority calls, and dedicate themselves more to patrol.

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