Tulare County Sheriff Looks for Volunteers

FRESNO, Calif. These white-uniformed Tulare County Sheriff's Office volunteers offer their time and save the Sheriff's office big money. Since the program started in 1993, volunteers have donated more than $200,000 hours, saving the department more than $1.6 million dollars. And they are needed now more than ever, with budget cuts and a hiring freeze in place.

Sgt. Chris Douglass, with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office said, "It's great for the department because we have volunteers that can help us do these tasks that we would normally have to pull someone away from either the desk work they do or a patrol car to take care of."

Nearly 100 volunteers with the county sheriff's office not only provide more manpower, but also extra eyes and ears out on the streets.

From dropping off case information at the district attorney's office, to delivering a county vehicle to maintenance shop, the volunteers save the deputies valuable time.

These Sheriff's volunteers also help patrol farms and neighborhoods in Tulare County, and sometimes that extra surveillance pays off.

"We found meth dumps and reported those and had those cleaned up, said volunteer James Murrel, "It's just a matter of being there at the right time. And that's our purpose."

But most of all the volunteers say giving back to the community is the most rewarding.

Jose Saldivar has been volunteering for more than 13 years and has so far put in 10,000 volunteer hours. "Doing something for the community, for the Sheriff's Department, I know they need help and we try to do our best and so I feel great to do that."

The Tulare County Sheriff's office volunteer recruitment is being held Thursday, November 19th at 6:30 p.m. at the Tulare County Office of Education on Burrel Road.

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