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VIPS MEMBERSHIP HANDBOOK


JANUARY 2007



I. INTRODUCTION

This booklet/binder is the Volunteer in Public Safety (VIPS) Membership Handbook it provides overall guidance and expectations for volunteers who have committed time to work as a VIP. It outlines how VIPS will conduct themselves while providing public safety in the City of Sausalito. A successful VIPS Program can only occur when we all work and communicate together under a team concept.

Volunteers from all levels within the VIPS have duties, responsibilities and standards of performance to ensure that the communication of public safety awareness is provided in Sausalito. There must be an understanding that there is free and clear communication between the VIPS President, Officers, members as well as the Chiefs of Police & Fire and their respective departments. This is important so that operations can run efficiently and safely. Public Safety officers and VIPS are equally encouraged to identify and report potential hazards, at-risk behaviors, symptoms related to potential injuries, and offer hazard abatement solutions, and take actions to prevent accidents, human suffering and loss to VIPS and the public.


II. POLICY STATEMENT

All VIPS must conduct all our operations as safely and efficiently as possible, and as a condition of membership, exercise care and safe judgement to prevent injuries to themselves, and the public.

All VIPS must take an interest in the prevention of accidents and crime and provide the leadership which will inspire other volunteers and the public to live, visit, and/or work in a safe manner each and every day in Sausalito.

The personal safety and health of each volunteer, public safety officer/staff, citizens and visitors is of paramount concern. The prevention of injuries and illnesses and crime is a high priority.

Sausalito VIPS intend to comply with all laws and safety procedures and rules. Therefore, every volunteer must make safety an integral part of his/her daily activities.


__________________________________
President Date

__________________________________
Chief of Police






III. CODE OF CONDUCT

1. VIPS will make themselves thoroughly familiar with the VIPS Handbook and keep current with any changes and updates.
2. VIPS will report for duty in the designated uniform; uniforms must be neat and clean in appearance and worn as specified in the VIPS Handbook.
3. VIPS will wear uniforms while on duty or at special VIPS/Police functions. Uniforms and/or identification badges will not be worn at any other time. Uniforms may be worn en route to and from assignments.
4. VIPS will exercise caution when acting in the City’s behalf in any situation.
5. VIPS will not act in the capacity of a police officer or take any enforcement action.
6. VIPS shall carry no weapons of any kind while on duty.
7. VIPS will not partake of alcohol, drugs or prescribed medications that may impair performance, while on duty, immediately before reporting for duty, or any time while in uniform.
8. VIPS will follow the chain of command to resolve any problems or concerns that may arise relating to police matters, either on or off duty.
9. VIPS will keep confidential all addresses, phone numbers and other personal information concerning staff and other VIPS members. This information is for respective Public Safety Department and/or VIPS use only.
10. VIPS will not discuss department-related issues with members of the media or anyone outside the department without formal approval.
11. VIPS will under no circumstances divulge any confidential information obtained in their capacity as members of VIPS without formal authorization.
12. VIPS will respect and protect the confidentiality of all information relating to the City of Sausalito, the Department of Justice and all law enforcement agencies.
13. VIPS will not use membership in VIPS in any way to obtain preferential treatment, obtain special privilege, or inappropriately attempt to influence the actions of others.
14. VIPS will maintain a responsible reputation both on and off duty and will promote a positive image of the Sausalito Police Department, Southern Marin Fire and the City of Sausalito.
15. VIPS will uphold the professional demeanor of law enforcement; they will remain courteous and helpful at all times.


IV. THE VIPS BADGE

1. Wear it with pride!
2. The VIPS Volunteer badge is a symbol of membership in a special group of citizens committed to promoting public safety in our city. The badge confers upon the wearer responsibilities for performance, teamwork, and preparedness. It does not confer any special privileges or authority other than that assumed in carrying out one’s assigned duties.
3. The badge/emblem should be worn when and only when on VIPS business.

III. MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

1. Be 21-years of age or older
2. Have No felony convictions
3. Have No misdemeanor convictions within one year of application
4. Have the ability to volunteer a minimum of 8-hours monthly
5. Complete a background investigation
6. Be finger-printed and picture taken for identification
7. Complete Citizen’s Policy Academy (before or within 6-months of entry)
8. Complete VIPS required orientation and training
9. Agree to comply with the VIPS Code of Conduct
10. Attend monthly meetings
11. Report to activities and duties volunteered for

IV. MEMBERSHIP DUTIES

1. Follow established policies and procedures.
2. Participate in incident/accident investigations, when requested.
3. Report all injuries/illnesses and their symptoms immediately to VIPS officers.
4. Report all hazardous conditions and practices to VIPS officers and/or SPD/Souther Marin Fire Dept. (SMFD).

V. TRAINING

1. During the first month, new VIPS will receive orientation training
2. During the course of the year volunteers will be offered training for various duties either in a class at a regular meeting or at a special meeting or event.

VI. SAFETY

1. Personal
? TBD
2. Vehicle
a. You should know and obey Federal, State and local motor vehicle laws applicable to the operation of the vehicle.
b. You should not permit unauthorized persons to drive or ride in a VIPS vehicle. Hitchhikers are not permitted in city vehicles.
c. Be courteous toward other drivers and pedestrians and yield the right-of-way to others when failure to do so might endanger another vehicle or person.
d. Observe the three "C's" to safe driving:
COURTESY-----CAUTION-----CONTROL
e. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses shall be worn whenever the vehicle is in motion and you should not move the vehicle until all persons have fastened their safety belts.
f. The engine should be stopped, transmission engaged in park or gear, ignition key removed, emergency brake set, and vehicle locked when parking or leaving the vehicle.
g. You should not operate your vehicle while listening to electronic devices (radios, tapes, etc.), which require earplugs, muffs, or other headset devices. It is recommended that you pull over to a safe place to make cell phone calls and to take notes.
h. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or unsafe medications is against the law and against VIPS policy.
i. You are responsible for any fines or citations issued by law enforcement agencies.
j. Many accidents result in rear-ending another vehicle because of following too closely.
k. You should practice the 2-second rule (minimum) of defensive driving to maintain separation between your vehicle and the one in front of you to allow for adequate stopping distance. Seconds should be increased as weather conditions decrease.


VII. Performance Problems and Termination

The VIPS are held to the same standards of behavior as the department’s officers. Termination of volunteers or corrective discipline may be appropriate and necessary if policies or procedures are not followed. Policies on corrective discipline and termination are included as part of the volunteer handbook.

Corrective discipline usually is a three-step process including verbal warning, written warning, and termination. The VIPS policies detail what circumstances may lead to immediate dismissal. Each of the three steps requires documentation and coordination with the volunteer administrator.

In a case that calls for immediate dismissal, the situation may become confrontational. The VIPS President or the Chief of Police/Fire can best explain why the termination is necessary by handling the release firmly and objectively. It is recommended that a third person be present for a dismissal meeting.

In the event that a volunteer is notified of termination by letter, the letter should present the reasons and supporting information in clear, nonjudgmental statements.


VIII. Disputes and Grievances
A dispute is defined as a grievance of a volunteer staff member concerning any condition of service, or the application of policies or procedures as they affect the work of the volunteer staff. Disputes should be resolved at the organizational level that is as close as possible to the origin of the dispute.
? The VIPS have adopted and implemented a formal process for the resolution of disputes raised by individual volunteers or staff members. The process will allow for the prompt, complete, and impartial resolution of disputes.
? The dispute resolution process is based on the fundamental values of respect for the individual and fairness to all affected parties.
? The procedures are written in clear and concise language and are readily available for inspection and review by all paid and volunteer staff. (Do we have these procedures written somewhere)
? At a minimum, the process shall identify the authority and sequence of decisions to handle disputes, the steps to be taken by all involved parties, the associated time frames for each step, and the information needed to initiate and proceed through the resolution process.
? With due regard to confidentiality concerns, disclosure of dispute information shall be limited to those who have a need to know.


TERMINATION OF VOLUNTEER SERVICE

The Sausalito Police Department/Southern Marin Fire Department (SMFD) and VIPS reserves the right to terminate an individual from the VIPS Program for:
1. Refusal to perform an assigned task without just cause
2. Reporting to work under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
3. Divulging confidential information
4. Insubordination
5. Improper use of SPD/SMFD computer, internet access, information read-heard-observed-exchanged
6. Use of VIPS position to influence or gain anything
7. Not complying with the VIPS Code of Conduct

Violation of any of the above will be reviewed by VIPS Executive Committee (Officers). Action taken in the form of discipline or termination can be reviewed by the VIPS President, SPD Liaison Officer and Chief of Police/Fire.


X. EXIT INTERVIEWS

When volunteers leave the unit for any reason, the membership chair or president should ensure that an exit interview is conducted. The information obtained at this time can be very beneficial for the unit in evaluating volunteer management practices.


XI. EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROCEDURES

For All Emergency Situations: Dial 911
Police Dept.: 289-4170 Fire Dept.: 289-4153
Public Works: 289-4113 City Eng. 289-4112x111


XII. APPENDICES

A. New Volunteer Orientation Checklist
B. Emergency Guide
C. Code of Conduct and Sign-off




NEW VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION CHECK LIST

Check off each item as you discuss or perform the task with volunteer.
Write an “N/a” in the box for those items that are not applicable.

TOPIC/SUBJECT VOLUNTEER’S INITIALS TRAINER’S INITIALS DATE

1
Provided Copy of the HANDBOOK

2
Reviewed Policies & Code of Conduct

2
Reviewed Safety Rules/Procedures

3
Tour of Department Facilities and VIPS Equipment

4
Uniforms Issued

5
Equipment Issued



I, ________________________________, have discussed the checked items with ______________________ I understand my responsibilities, and I have received a copy of Volunteers Handbook along with a copy of this signed checklist.


VOLUNTEERS SIGNATURE:
DATE:

ORIENTATORS SIGNATURE:
DATE:


Distribution: Original- SPD Coordinator Copy- Training File

EMERGENCY GUIDE

Before an Emergency you should:
? Know the Emergency Procedures for where you are at the time of the emergency
? Be Prepared to carry out emergency measures


During an Emergency you should:
? Act in a calm manner
? Follow emergency procedures
? Follow instructions from emergency authorities
? Notify others as appropriate
? Be prepared to evacuate the area or building by either your primary or secondary exit. When ordered to evacuate, go to a safe area

If you become aware of a Fire you should:
? Call the fire department at 911, report where the fire is in the building, the address, your phone number, and any other information they may ask for
? Attempt to extinguish the fire only if it is small and you have been trained to use the fire extinguishers
? Alert others of the fire
? Assist in the evacuation of the area or building
? Direct fire fighters and emergency personnel to the fire

During an Earthquake you should:
? Stay calm, don’t panic, calm others
? If indoors, stay inside and take shelter
? Stay away from windows, shelves, and outside doors
? If outdoors, stay away from overhead power lines, poles or anything else that could shake loose
? Do not attempt to re-enter or leave the building unless advised by the authorities to do so
Prepare for aftershocks

After an Earthquake you should:
? Use caution when entering or leaving the building
? Check to see if anyone is trapped by fallen objects or collapsed furniture or materials
? Do not use open flames
? Stay away from fallen or damaged electric lines
? Open windows and doors to ventilate the space or building
In case of fire, follow fire procedures

For other Emergencies you should:
? Upon discovery of any other emergency, notify 911
? Inform them of the nature of the emergency, sequence of events leading to the emergency, conditions of person(s) or building, and the phone number from where you are located, and listen for instructions


During a Medical Emergency you should:
? Call the EMT dispatchers at 911
? Report where you are, give them the address and any special directions, location and condition of the person(s), your phone number
? Stay on the phone till they tell you that they have all the information they need
? Only trained personnel should provide First Aid or medical attention
? Keep the area clear for the EMT’s
? Someone should meet the EMT’s at the front entrance and direct them to the injured person(s)

When notified of a Bomb Threat you should:
? Stay calm, don’t panic, tell others
? Treat the threat as a real possible danger
? Obtain as much information as you can
? Be alert for objects that look suspicious, or are out of place
? Call 911,
? Report your address, phone number, and give them all the information on the threat you have
? Stay on the line until they tell you they have all the information they need

When you become aware of Workplace Violence:
? If you observe an act of violence, immediately notify the police dispatch at 911
? Evacuate the area if it is safe to do so, if not, find shelter
? Observe conditions and other personnel as you find “safe place”. Report the observed information to police dispatcher
? Stay calm, wait for help


CODE OF CONDUCT

1. VIPS will make themselves thoroughly familiar with the VIPS Handbook and keep current with any changes and updates.
2. VIPS will report for duty in the designated uniform; uniforms must be neat and clean in appearance and worn as specified in the VIPS Handbook.
3. VIPS will wear uniforms while on duty or at special VIPS/Police functions. Uniforms and/or identification badges will not be worn at any other time. Uniforms may be worn en route to and from assignments.
4. VIPS will exercise caution when acting in the City’s behalf in any situation.
5. VIPS will not act in the capacity of a police officer or take any enforcement action.
6. VIPS shall carry no weapons of any kind while on duty.
7. VIPS will not partake of alcohol, drugs or prescribed medications that may impair performance, while on duty, immediately before reporting for duty, or any time while in uniform.
8. VIPS will follow the chain of command to resolve any problems or concerns that may arise relating to police matters, either on or off duty.
9. VIPS will keep confidential all addresses, phone numbers and other personal information concerning staff and other VIPS members. This information is for Police Department and/or VIPS use only.
10. VIPS will not discuss department-related issues with members of the media or anyone outside the department without formal approval.
11. VIPS will under no circumstances divulge any confidential information obtained in their capacity as members of VIPS without formal authorization.
12. VIPS will respect and protect the confidentiality of all information relating to the City of Sausalito, the Department of Justice and all law enforcement agencies.
13. VIPS will not use membership in VIPS in any way to obtain preferential treatment, obtain special privilege, or inappropriately attempt to influence the actions of others.
14. VIPS will maintain a responsible reputation both on and off duty and will promote a positive image of the Sausalito Police Department and the City of Sausalito.
15. VIPS will uphold the professional demeanor of law enforcement; they will remain courteous and helpful at all times.

I have read and endorse the VIPS Handbook and VIPS Code of Conduct. I understand that any violation of this code by me, or conduct, on or off duty, that might adversely affect the City of Sausalito, its Police Department, or jeopardize public trust in the law enforcement profession, may result in my dismissal from the VIPS.

Signed ____________________________________ ID No. __________ Date

Last updated: 9/26/2007 1:50:38 PM