What is VIP?
Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) is a program designed to reduce crime by having citizens patrol their own neighborhoods and report any suspicious or criminal activity to the police. This includes a description of individuals and the car they are driving including make, model, color, and license plate number. VIP volunteers may NOT be armed when patrolling and are NOT to confront anyone who looks suspicious. Volunteers call 911 if they have reason to believe a crime is in progress.
What about the Glen Meadow VIP?
Funded by the Glen Meadow Neighborhood Association (GMNA), the VIP program in our neighborhood is 24 years old. Over the years, hundreds of Glen Meadow neighbors have served as members.
Currently we have 40 members who collectively make 17 to 20 patrols each month. According to the Dallas Police, our neighborhood has one of the lowest crime rates in all of North Dallas. The police believe that our VIP program, in tandem with our Crime Watch program, is responsible for our low crime rate.
What's it like to patrol in Glen Meadow?
Once a month, volunteers patrol in their own car with another member for a 2-hour patrol. In Glen Meadow, it is typical to travel 20 miles around our neighborhood during that two hours.
The VIP program provides magnetic signs and a rooftop light to be used on the patroller's car. These items are stored in a small wooden cabinet on Tom and Sandy Redick's porch. Before your patrol, you stop by the Redick porch, attach the magnetic signs to your car doors and the flashing light to the roof.
Patrollers also pick up a map of the entire neighborhood with home addresses along with a VIP cell phone to use if you prefer to not use your own. A roster of homeowner names and phone numbers is provided along with a notebook to record what happens during your patrol.
VIP works hard to ensure this information is current with the help of GMNA and neighbors who call in with changes.
On your patrol, you are looking for simple things like a garage door that has been left open and for anything that looks out of place or suspicious. If a garage door is left open, you would call the homeowner, but for anything which looks suspicious you would call 911. You are NOT to confront anyone.
When you complete your patrol, return these items to the Redick porch for use by the next team.
How are GMNA VIP patrols assigned?
All members are asked to make a minimum of one 2-hour patrol a month, although you may choose to do more. Peggy Dowdey schedules members each month with a telephone call to confirm availability and the monthly schedule is emailed out a few days before the beginning of each month by Bill Woster.
Initially, new members will be assigned patrols with an experienced member to learn more about how to conduct a patrol. Some VIPs prefer to patrol with their spouse or partner while others use the patrols to get to know new neighbors.
How do I get started?
You apply with the Dallas Police Department by completing and mailing the application, waiver of liability, and confidentiality forms to the Northwest substation on Harry Hines. These forms are available online at www.dallaspolice.net/community/volunteerProgram.html or you can contact Peggy Dowdey (972.247.4675) or Bill Woster at email@example.com.
Once the background check is complete, you will be scheduled for the next half-day training session at the Northwest substation. This training usually occurs on a quarterly basis or sooner if there are enough volunteers to fill a class.
The more VIP members we have, the more patrols we can have out in our neighborhood looking for things that are out of place. The marked patrol cars also serve as a visible sign of our commitment to safety in our neighborhood.
The Glen Meadow goal would be to have at least one to two patrols a day, five days a week. You can help make that happen by becoming a Very Important VIP.
What does it take to be a VIP member?
Volunteers in Patrol (VIP's) are our neighborhood's most visible deterrent to crime. These volunteers patrol our alleys and streets looking for potential crimes or problems. They look for persons or vehicles which seem suspicious or out of place. If warranted, our VIPs will call Dallas Police Department to investigate.
Thanks to all the current and former VIP members
for their dedication and commitment.