Just about every volunteer organization has requirements. Many of these requirements involve how much time you can devote to the cause. Unfortunately, people often have good intentions, but they just don't have the time to commit to the work. Before you volunteer for anything, you should find out exactly how much time will be required of you each week or month -- it can be significant. For example, David Morgan, a civilian who volunteers with the Charlotte Police Department, volunteers 40 to 60 hours a month [source: Harrington].
When you volunteer to work for the police, you'll face more requirements than you would when, say, helping out at the local community center. Every police force is different, so it's important to check with your local police station to find out exactly what it needs. In general, you will probably run into these types of requirements:
- Be 21 years or older
- Possess a valid driver's license for your state
- Prove or be working toward U.S. citizenship
- Pass a background check
- Have a clean record
- Pass an interview, polygraph or psychological/medical evaluation
You'll also probably be asked to fill out an extensive application form or take training classes on report writing, security, citation writing and specialized work. It's helpful to know what kind of work you would like to do in advance, so you can ask the police if that type of work is available before you sign up. Now that you have explored the requirements, read on to learn about volunteer police organizations.