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Punta Gorda Police Deparment

Punta Gorda Police Department                            

Lieutenant Katie Heck

May, 2017

In the City of Punta Gorda there are 81 people in yellow shirts who work to make our community a better place to live. They are the Punta Gorda Police Volunteers. They patrol the streets and canals rain or shine. In addition, they perform administrative tasks in the department to free employees to concentrate on police work.

The Volunteers on Patrol drive the streets of Punta Gorda keeping fire lanes clear, keeping handicap parking slots available for authorized users, directing traffic at city events, and maintaining a courier service for police materials among the city offices, county jail and the Charlotte County Justice Center. They extend the eyes and ears of the police department by multiplying the number of patrols within the community.

The Volunteer Marine Patrol covers every section of canals in Punta Gorda (Punta Gorda Isles, Burnt Store Isles, and Emerald Point) at least once a month. They patrol five days a week, double covering weekends with the Marine Officer and ensuring a police boat on the water the days the Marine Officer is off-duty. They preform safety patrols, cautioning boaters on wake limits, use of life jackets for children under six years of age, blocking navigable waters, or any unsafe boating activity. They perform search and rescue operations for overturned small sailboats and for missing boaters in waters near the City. They assist the City’s canal maintenance folks by reporting damage to navigation aids and seawall problems. They remove or secure objects in the canal that can damage boats. They conduct depth checks on canals and inlets for possible dredging. They assist Code Compliance for issues that require attention from the water side of canals.

The Administrative Volunteers are most times the first point of contact with the public in the lobby of the police department. Aside from their main function as the department’s Director of First Impressions, they provide assistance in mail distribution, special projects, and youth programs such as the Do the Right Thing and the Jammers Basketball League. In addition, they assist with the agency’s Quality Assurance Program and Fingerprinting efforts.

This past year, police volunteers donated over 10,000 hours of service! If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Punta Gorda Police Department’s Volunteer Program, please contact the VIP Coordinator, Dennis Christman at dchristman@pgorda.us or at (941) 575-5535.