An idea was recently submitted to the Modesto Police Department to enable greater citizen support to fight crime using very little taxpayer money. We can put more eyes on the street before there is money to hire more officers.
A citizens patrol would be established. The police department would screen, appoint and give brief training to volunteers on how to drive around the community looking for crimes in progress. Volunteers would not be permitted to intervene or have arrest power. Instead, the volunteers would use a designated direct hot line to police dispatch so that the nearest available officers could respond promptly. This would bypass 911, which sometimes gets bogged down with large volumes of calls.
At the discretion of the police chief, any volunteer with an agenda, a vendetta, who makes a false report or who violates any of the rules and policies of the program could be banned from further participation. The hot line phone number would be changed periodically as needed.