Working Together To Keep Polk County Safe
PCSO strives to build stronger and safer communities by using volunteers throughout the agency. We have over 3,500 volunteer agency members who save taxpayers an average of $3 Million dollars annually in manpower and resources, through unique programs such as Citizens Assisted Patrol (CAP), Volunteer Sheriff's Service Officers (VSSOs), the Senior vs. Crime Program, the Chaplaincy Unit, and helping out at Animal Control, the two jail facilities, Human Resources, Records, and Special Operations. To find out more about how you can help PCSO reduce crime and improve the quality of life for our citizens by becoming a volunteer, please call Volunteer Services at 863-298-6681.
During 2016, the Volunteer Sheriff’s Service Officer (VSSO) Program had 26 active volunteers working within the agency. Together, they conducted hours of training and donated 16,698 hours of service. These citizen volunteers either assist in the
administrative/office areas of the agency, or are on the road providing non-emergency law enforcement services that do not require the use of law enforcement authority.
To be considered for the VSSO program, please call Volunteer Services at 863-298-6681 to obtain an application, or download the form on this page, then send it to: PCSO Volunteer Services Unit, 1891 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL, 33880.
Volunteer Sheriff's Service Officer
A PCSO Volunteer Sheriff's Service Officer (VSSO) fulfills a very important law enforcement function for the people of Polk County by assisting full-time sworn deputies with many functions, including writing reports, handling paperwork on past-occurred crimes, and responding to minor injury traffic crashes.
Anyone considering a career in law enforcement or who is interested in law enforcement work but not wanting to become a full-time sworn law enforcement officer is encouraged to become a VSSO. The VSSO academy includes two full days of orientation, and eight days of training afterwards. The orientation will be held at the PCSO Sheriff's Operations Center located at 1891 Jim Keene Blvd in Winter Haven, room 3057.
For more information about the VSSO program, please contact Mike Reckart at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 863-297-1176.
Citizens Assisted Patrol, or C.A.P., is a program initially started by the Sheriff’s Office to assist law enforcement officers in combating crime throughout the county. C.A.P. volunteers patrol the unincorporated areas of the county using specially
marked golf carts and patrol cars acting as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement. C.A.P. volunteers are provided with uniforms. Volunteers do not carry weapons and have no law enforcement powers. All C.A.P. volunteers are subjected to background
checks and must participate in training. There are 67 C.A.P. communities throughout the county.
Not only are they in the unincorporated areas of the county, but also in the cities of Lakeland, Winter Haven, Haines City, Lake Wales, and Dundee. This extremely successful program assists the Sheriff ’s Office in deterring crime by providing
highly visible patrols who report suspicious activities to the Emergency Communications Center and district supervisors.
For more information on volunteer opportunities or the C.A.P. program, please call Volunteer
Services at 863-298-6681 to obtain an application, or download the form on this page, then send it to: PCSO Volunteer Services Unit, 1891 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL, 33880.
Bonnet Springs Park patrol
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the creators of Bonnet Springs Park to help provide a family-friendly, visitor-friendly safe environment for park guests through its CAP program. Bonnet Springs Park is a blended urban/natural 168-acre park located just outside of downtown Lakeland and is slated to open on October 22, 2022. For more information about this new beautiful park, go to https://bonnetspringspark.com/.
The Bonnet Springs Park will be patrolled by PCSO CAP volunteers during regular park hours using marked 4-seat electric utility task vehicles. Volunteers will work varied shifts between sunrise and sunset, providing a visible and active patrol of the park. Bonnet Springs CAP volunteers will be trained in patrol, observation, and crime prevention techniques specific to the needs of the park. They will have direct communication with park staff and local law enforcement. Members will wear uniforms provided by the Sheriff’s Office. Volunteers will also serve as good-will ambassadors for Bonnet Springs Park.
Download the PCSO Volunteer application