Volunteer Initiatives Program
Communicators on Patrol
In an effort to enhance language access between officers and community members, the Houston Police Department is in the process of developing a new volunteer program called “Communicators on Patrol”. Community members would serve as volunteer translators and assist patrol officers responding to various calls for service.
Communicators would need to be fluent in one of the following languages:
As a volunteer Communicator you could serve in two capacities:
- Be “on-call” for a minimum of 4 hours per volunteer shift and assigned to specific areas of city to handle “communication” not interpretations, for incidents involving the public
- Schedule to do ride-alongs during week or weekends with patrol officers
As a volunteer Communicator you could be used in the following scenarios to assist an officer(s):
- Issuing a ticket/traffic citation
- Reporting a crime or suspicious activity
- Assisting victims of crime i.e. assaults, domestic abuse
- Vehicle crashes
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI’s)
- Burglary of Motor Vehicles (BMV’s)
- Code One Calls (ie. Burglary In Progress, Home Invasion, etc.)
Benefits of being a part of the Volunteer “Communicators on Patrol” Program:
- Allows Patrol Bilingual Police Officers to stay in the Calls for Service Loop
- Represents a neutral party at the scene; un-bias assessment of the scenario
- Culturally sensitive to respective communities; familiar with neighborhood background and nuances
- Can be used to handle translations for Department special events i.e. town hall meetings, safety fairs , and other special occasions
- May possess a higher level of language proficiency than Department staff
Expectations for Communicators:
- Submit and pass a criminal history check to include being finger-printed
- Hours of Availability – Minimum 4 hours per volunteer shift
- Undergo training
- Testify in Court
- Sign waiver indemnifying the Houston Police Department in the event of an accident in transit to an on-call event
To qualify you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a US Citizen or a Legal Resident
- Ability to speak a designated language fluently
- Provide own reliable transportation to on-call locations
- Maintain Proof of Insurance for personal vehicle
For more information about the “Communicators on Patrol” program please contact the Office of Public Affairs and request to speak to Officer Rafael Pantoja or Officer Muzaffar Siddiqi at 713-308-3200.
To become an HPD Volunteer, you must click on the link and complete a Police VIP Application and attached forms:
- the VIP Application is a fillable form (In order to properly fill out, save and submit the PDF form you must use Adobe Reader or Acrobat 8.0 or greater. You can download the latest Adobe Reader here.) Once the form is filled out it can be submitted by clicking the 'submit' button or by emailing the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.