Houston Police Department

Volunteer Initiatives Program


The Houston Police Volunteer Initiatives Program (VIP) is for individuals who wish to volunteer their time as members of the Houston Police Department.  The greatest asset of any community is its people.  A barometer of that value is the willingness of the people to volunteer.   HPD recognizes the importance of volunteers and the valuable contributions they can provide the department.  Our goal is to enhance the quality of life in the city of Houston by working as a team. As a Police VIP volunteer, you become a member of our team.


VOLUNTEERS:
  • are individuals who perform services without pay
  • augment HPD staff but do not replace paid staff positions
  • are non sworn member and do not have the authority or duties that would classify them as a police officer
  • have been selected for a volunteer position by HPD
  • are expected to perform a minimum of 12 hours per month
  • turn in a monthly time sheet signed by the Division Coordinator
  • address all questions, concerns, complaints with their VIP coordinator
  • must attend a mandatory orientation class
  • are “authorized volunteers” – completed a background investigation and fingerprint identification check

You are disqualified from becoming a Police VIP if any of the following apply.  The following are also grounds for dismissal from the program once you are approved.


  • Criminal Offenses:
    • Three (3) or more traffic violations during the last eighteen (18) months.
    • Felony or Class A Misdemeanor conviction (includes Felony or Class A Misdemeanor Deferred Adjudication convictions).
    • Class B Misdemeanor in the past ten (10) years (includes Deferred Adjudication convictions).
    • Family Violence offense conviction.
    • Indictment for any criminal offense (approval or reinstatement is based on disposition of court case).
    • Not living in the United States legally.
    • Under 17 years of age (except YPAC students).

  • Had / have a pattern of abusing prescription drugs.
  • Dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
  • Current City Employee (unless participating in Citizen Patrol).
  • Physical / mental disability that would substantially impair an individual’s ability to perform their duties.
  • Unlawful sexual conduct prior to and/or during volunteer term.
  • Inappropriate behavior relating to sexual harassment or racial slurs.
  • Committed an act or behavior tending to bring reproach and/or discredit to themselves and/or the Houston Police Department.
  • Used, tried, or sold any dangerous drugs or narcotics including cocaine, crack heroin, LSD.

The VIP Application Process takes 3 – 6 weeks due to the following:


  • Complete an application
  • Fingerprint Check / Criminal History Check / Background Investigation
  • Orientation Class (Mandatory attendance is required)
  • Issuance of Police VIP Identification Card
  • Placement Interview

The Police VIP is made up of the integral components which form the Houston Police Department’s volunteer base.


PROGRAMS / COMPONENTS (Please click on the item for more information)

Citizens Offering Police Support (COPS)


COPS form the core support group of volunteers who serve to enhance the delivery of police services to the citizens of Houston. COPS volunteers provide administrative support to the police department at various locations. (more)


Citizen Patrol (CP)


The Citizen Patrol program was established in an effort to bring the citizens and the police department together for a common goal. It is designed to provide a means for citizens to organize into groups in their own neighborhood and become additional eyes and ears for the police. (more)


Citizens' Police Academy (CPA)


The CPA was implemented to provide citizens a clearer knowledge about the functions and operations of the Houston Police Department. Citizens are exposed to an array of areas in the department that provide excitement and information. The experience is priceless and the citizens become ambassadors for the Houston Police Department. (more)


Houston Citizens' Police Academy Alumni Association (HCPAAA)


HCPAAA is only open to the Houston Citizens' Police Academy (CPA) graduates and its purpose is to bring together the CPA graduates and enhance the relations between the community and the police force. (more)


Houston Police Foundation (HPF)


The private sector has a real stake in the success of the Houston Police Department and the safety of our City. The Houston Police Foundation serves a vital role - connecting private investment dollars with effective public safety solutions. Many volunteer opportunities are available. (more)


Police and Clergy Alliance (PACA)


Allows local Clergy volunteers in partnership with the HPD to provide valuable services and resources such as providing support to victims and family members in certain situations, participate in ride alongs, mentor at risk students in schools and apartment complexes, assist with disaster relief efforts, and other significant events occurring within the city limits of Houston. (more)


Student Internship (SI)


The SI Program provides qualified students with practical work experience and the opportunity to be involved in various aspects of police work. (more)


Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC)


YPAC recruits high school students to interact with Chief of Police and other top HPD officials regarding issues affecting youth in schools and communities. High school students are chosen each school year and address issues of their peers, participate in community service projects, and attend youth leadership conferences throughout the state. YPAC members meet five times during the school year at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis, Houston, TX, 77002. Applications are accepted at the beginning of each school-year. (more)


To become an HPD Volunteer, you must click on the link and complete a Police VIP Application and attached forms:


  • the VIP Application is fillable on line and can be submitted by clicking the 'submit' button.

  • Please provide a copy of your current driver license. The mailing address is listed below.

  • pick one up at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis, 21st floor or call 713 308-3200 and request an application be mailed to you (once completed, mail, fax, or deliver application to the VIP Office)

** Note - Applications for the Citizen Patrol or the Youth Police Advisory Council must be processed via the instructions provided on their web page.


If you have any questions, please contact the VIP office:


Houston Police Department
Public Affairs – VIP Office
1200 Travis, 21st Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
713-308-3200 (office)
713 308 – 3216 (fax)