A safer community isn’t achieved solely by making arrests and solving crime.
For the Cypress Police Department, those who volunteer their time for everything from traffic control to crime scene containment play a critical role in making the city a better place to live.
Cypress PD on a recent Thursday honored those who every year dedicate thousands of hours to the department with the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at the Eagle’s Nest at the Cypress navy Golf Course.
The department’s 21 Volunteers in Policing (VIPs), 10 Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) volunteers and two chaplains were recognized at the event.
“We appreciate the volunteers and all the work you put in to make the department successful,” Police Chief Rod Cox told the volunteers. “People highly appreciate having you out there in our community.”
Since the program’s inception 18 years ago, volunteers have dedicated more than 68,000 hours and saved the department $4.7 million.
As of September this year, Cypress PD volunteers have logged more than 2,600 hours.
Police said the work of volunteers makes the department more efficient and effective.
Volunteers give back in a variety of ways including making vacation checks, working community events and maintaining the firing range.
They are also often the conduit between the community and the police department hosting department tours and visiting local schools, among other duties.
Whatever Cypress PD calls on them to do, volunteers deliver, said Mayor Rob Johnson.
“The city is so grateful for the selfless dedication of every volunteer,” he said. “They are an invaluable asset to our community that helps our police department continue to make Cypress a safe place to live.”
Volunteers Arlene Gellerman and Jan Ridgeway received special honors at the event for achieving more than 2,500 hours of service in their 14-year VIP careers.
“I just love that I can help out and feel that I am doing something useful,” Ridgeway said. “I just love the people at the police station and I love the community.”
Gellerman said she joined Cypress PD after Sept. 11, 2001 when a recruiter came to her neighborhood looking for extra help.
“I remember they said they were going to need us because there was going to be more to do after 9/11,” said Gellerman, who also is a member of West County CERT and RACES. “I just wanted to be able to give back to my community in some way.”
Here is a look at Cypress PD’s volunteers and their service
Larry Adams: 165 hours of service since 2014
John Berbera: 1,719 hours of service since 2007
Ed Bowers: 2,412 hours of service since 2005
Dan Cohen: 1,016 hours since 2006
Linda Croce: 1,411 hours since 2009
Sandy Doerr: 1,206 hours since 1997
Arlene Gellerman: 2,831 hours since 2001
Cora Miller: 615 hours since 2007
Keythe Murray: 428 hours since 2013
Brenda Perikli: 980 hours since 2013
Jan Ridgeway 2,679 hours since 2003
Ellen Robinson: 257 hours since 2014
Ruth Schnipper: 3,300 hours since 2001
Wayne Schoemann: 4,123 hours since 2003
Dick Shermet: 2,282 hours since 2006
Ed Spurgeon: 2,394 hours since 2006
Janet Spurgeon: 2,078 hours since 1997
Janet Sun: 2,751 hours since 1997
Mike Taylor: 681 hours since 2014
Kathleen Wiedel: 965 hours since 2009
Diane Woodman: 1,130 hours since 2007
Fr. Patrick Moses
Frank De Pina