By Dawn Krebs
PORT ST. LUCIE -- Over the past year, more than 300 volunteers helped the Port St. Lucie Police Department. On Dec. 11, the annual volunteer luncheon was held to recognize them and their hard work.
"This event is put on for the volunteers," said Tom Andrews, volunteer coordinator. "Contributions by volunteers and city residents and businesses make this a success every year."
The volunteers take over some of the smaller responsibilities from the officers, enabling them to spend more time on the road.
Examples of some of their volunteering include parking enforcement, deploying the speed trailer to study speeds on streets and providing courier services between the police department and courthouse.
"The community patrol, which is made up of volunteers, gives us an added pair of eyes in the city," said Sgt. Frank Sabol, public information officer for the department.
"The police department is more efficient with them."
This year, volunteers contributed approximately 20,000 hours, saving the police department an estimated $417,000.
"It's fun, interesting and very challenging," said Nancy Oldham, one of the many volunteers attending the event.
Volunteers undergo a background check and a training session before they begin.
"It's fun, interesting and very challenging," said Ms. Oldham.
"The volunteers really help us out," said Sgt. Sabol, "and everyone really appreciates everything they do."
To be a volunteer, call (772) 344-4052 for more information.