The Redding Police Department and City Council are taking on the initiative to put more eyes and ears on the streets.
City Council Member Patrick Jones and Chief of Police Rob Paoletti will meet weekly to introduce a ‘Volunteer Auxiliary Program.’
The program would ask volunteers to patrol city streets and report suspicious information to the police.
“If we can stop crime before it happens it will be a win, win, win,” said City Council Member Patrick Jones.
Stopping the crime before it happens also poses a potential threat to the volunteer’s safety.
For Chief Paoletti, the safety of the volunteers needs to be carefully addressed.
“That is one of my major concerns, saying that volunteers are going to go out in early morning or dark hours and look for bad guys,” Paoletti said. “If they find the bad guy and they are calling for help, I don't have the police officers to be able to protect their safety.”
Jones also agrees.
“We want to make sure that whatever we do that we don’t put our volunteers in harm’s way. I think that we will be able to create a program that will do that,” Jones said.
Both Paoletti and Jones said the volunteers will not be armed.
"I can see giving them something like pepper spray just in case," said Chief Paoletti.
The volunteers will wear a uniform and some may drive older patrol cars.
“By just having these cruisers or whatever type of patrol whether it is a bicycle patrol, motorcycle patrol or cruisers patrolling or even people patrolling on the river trail … that presence will help reduce crime," Jones said.
The Volunteer Program will not be free. Jones wants to cover costs mainly by fundraising and asking for donations.