By Mark Duval, VIP Lead, Town Creek/Forest Meadow
If you’ve seen the cars with the orange light and “VIP” signs on the doors, you know that Dallas Police are getting some help from the community that they protect and serve. “VIP” stands for “Volunteers in Patrol,” an organization created and trained by the Dallas Police Department.
The program relies on residents to patrol their own neighborhoods in their own vehicles and report anything amiss directly to police. VIPs are required to receive about four hours of training from DPD. Once trained, VIPs must patrol at least an hour per year to maintain their status as volunteer members of the department. VIPs also receive priority consideration when they call 9-1-1.
Volunteers mark their vehicles with lights and magnetic signs as they drive their neighborhood streets. The VIP program is non-confrontational – volunteers patrol in pairs and never directly interact with any suspicious persons.
The Northeast Division of the Dallas Police Department, which encompasses Town Creek, boasts about 900 VIPs. 25 of them belong to the Town Creek/Forest Meadows group, which launched in 2017.
“You guys live there – you know better than we do, in most cases, who belongs and when things don’t look right,” said Senior Corporal Kevin Kelley, the VIP coordinator for DPD Northeast. “VIPs become eyes and ears for the police department. In fact, you’re part of the department – one of us.”
The VIP team works to support the Crime Watch patrols as well as the Dallas Police Department at large. Not only does VIP work directly with the dedicated officers in the Crime Watch program, the two together act as a greater deterrent for any bad actors who may troll our streets.
Those interested in joining the Town Creek/Forest Meadow VIP Patrol must submit to a background check with the Dallas Police Department, then register for the next available training. Officer Kelley manages these processes and can be reached via email at Kevin.Kelley@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us. You can also learn more about VIP by emailing me at DuvalMark@hotmail.com.
Check out some videos on VIP below: