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City of Canyon Lake to establish Citizen Volunteer Program

The City of Canyon Lake is currently working with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Lake Elsinore Station to establish a Citizen Volunteer Program within Canyon Lake.

Volunteers in the program would work in a number of assignments, including within their own neighborhood, at a correctional facility, in patrol operations, clerical support, investigations, accounting, and computer entry.

“The program is a cost-effective way the city can enhance police presence within the community,” City Manager Chris Mann stated in his staff report. “The program comes at no cost to the city unless we were to choose to purchase vehicles, radios, and other equipment to house in Canyon Lake instead of at the Lake Elsinore Station, but that is not necessary to have a successful and robust program at this time.”

Volunteers will not carry a weapon or make arrests. They will act as essential “eyes and ears” in service to the community while working with the city and Sheriff’s Department staff.

Volunteers will patrol the community in addition to the sworn Sheriff’s deputies already on patrol, and assist the Sheriff’s Department personnel when there are major traffic incidents, during emergency situations, and at special events such as Fiesta Day and the Fourth of July.

In addition, Canyon Lake residents ages 14 to 17 will have the opportunity to serve in the Explorer Program. The program provides educational training programs for young adults on the purposes, mission, and objectives of law enforcement, as well as career orientation experiences, leadership opportunities, and community service activities.

City staff has worked with the Lake Elsinore Station to create marketing for the Citizen Volunteer Program, including filming a video with current volunteers inside Canyon Lake.

The Citizen Volunteer Program has existed in other cities across the county and has proved successful for many neighboring cities.

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