The RSVP is comprised of men and women over the age of 55 who come from all walks of life. The reason most often given for volunteering was their desire to "give something back to their community." Now that they are retired, they can share their time, energy, wisdom, knowledge and talent with the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Prospective RSVPs are selected after passing an oral interview, a background check, and a postive assessment of their suitablility for the various duties they will be asked to perform, including a driving skills test.
RSVP float during a 4th of July parade. (Click on Picture for a larger view.)
The Department's RSVP program began in 1994 when the first group of 25 volunteers graduated from an eight-week training program. Additional volunteers have graduated in following years to bring the present number to 51.
After graduation, they are prepared to go forth and assist the Police Department as special ambassadors, performing a variety of tasks which otherwise could not be undertaken due to budget, personnel and time constraints. RSVPs volunteer a minimum of six hours a week to the program, although many find their duties so interesting, rewarding, and enjoyable, that some volunteer as many as 30 to 35 hours a week. There is a great deal of camaraderie, fun and friendship among the RSVPs. RSVPs are supplied with specially-marked white police cars, acting as additional "eyes and ears" for the Department.
The RSVPs check the security of homes who are away on vacation, remove illegally posted signs from public property, assure the accuracy of the city maps used by the police department, and issue citations to those who illegally park their vehicles
RSVPs are the first to volunteer their time and energy during periods when the Police Department is busiest, assisting with Sobriety Checkpoints, or helping out during events such as the 4th of July holiday. They also work in-house for the Department, including fingerprinting, filing, preparing evidence, entering data into computers, testing firearms, duplicating training material & more.
RSVPs are also active within their community, assisting in child fingerprinting for ID purposes, alerting and educating the residents to the risk associated with leaving garage doors open, leaving windows and doors unlocked, or having missing or unreadable house numbers. RSVPs staff Police Substations to provide information to visitors, help with clerical and other duties, and act as roving ambassadors of good will towards the community's citizens.
RSVPs have an an active social calendar as well. Monthly meetings bring them together to munch on coffee and donuts, learn the latest changes in Law Enforcement Policies and Procedures and swap experiences while on patrol.
RSVPs in this past year removed over 30,000 illegally posted signs, performed in excess of 4,500 vacation house checks, and volunteered over 30,000 hours. The RSVPs contribute over $750,000 in skills and time to the city annually.
The Huntington Beach Police Department is very proud of its RSVP program, its RSVP volunteers, and the fine work that they perform. If you would be interested in joining this elite group and meet the requirements for membership, please contact , RSVP Coordinator Nilda Berndt at 714-536-5933. Your name and telephone number will be placed on the interest list, and when there is a need for a new class of about 20 RSVPs, you will be notified.
To go to the Vacation Check form, click here.
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