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Program looking for more seniors Nohely Mendoza | Sat, Jan 29 2011 12:00 PM

Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol member Mike Sole, 72, has enjoyed volunteering for the Chula Vista Police Department for 14 years and counting.

Sole decided to volunteer when he first saw the volunteer cars driving around the community.

"Have a good time and enjoy what you do, be proud of what you are doing for the city," Sole advised anyone consider joining the program.

Sole said that as long as he is feeling well and enjoying himself, he will continue to work on the volunteer patrol.

In order for any senior to apply they must be the right age, they must be a resident of Chula Vista, they must work a minimum of hours, they would have to have a background check, and they must have completed the academy," said police spokesman Bernard Gonzales.

Yumi Longers, 60, is one of the youngest volunteers at the department and has worked at the department for five years.

Longers is a duty officer volunteer and she gets to hear some unusual stories that officers share at the end of their shift, she said.

Longers said she was new to the city and saw an ad in the newspaper. The opportunity to be part of the volunteer patrol seemed an interesting one so she applied and got accepted.

"I'm liking it very much; it's such a pleasant experience. I plan to volunteer as long as I live in the city," Longers said.

Senior volunteer's act as eyes and ears for the Chula Vista Police Department. While they patrol Chula Vista neighborhoods they remain in contact with the police department via two-way radio.

The department continues to recruit people 50 years of age and older for their senior patrol program, Gonzales said.

"The thing about volunteer patrol is that we are constantly recruiting, some people decide that the program is not for them, and in some unfortunate cases some seniors pass away while volunteering at the time, but we are definitely always recruiting and always accepting applications," said Gonzales.

Some responsibilities for the seniors in the program are to enforce handicapped parking regulations, conduct vacation home security checks, perform traffic control, patrol business districts; parking lots, and school zones, document graffiti and pothole sightings, and assist at crime and auto scenes.

There is no specific term, any senior can come or go as they please, but they must volunteer at least four hours per week.

For more information on becoming a senior volunteer patrol call (619) 476-2417, visit www.chulavistaca.gov or visit the front counter of the Chula Vista Police Station.

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