Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)


Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Fairfax County Police Department.

The duties and responsibilities of VIPS are continually evolving as the needs of the department change, especially during the lean budget cycles we have been under in the past few years.

Individuals are not brought into the VIPS Program unless a specific assignment that requires a VIPS is identified by department personnel.  We make all attempts to match the skills and backgrounds of volunteers with the tasks to be accomplished.  Although VIPS are assigned to a primary location within the department, they are also eligible to take on additional short or long term assignments.

Please note that if an assignment is denoted as being “secondary” in nature, only current VIPS are placed in those positions.

All VIPS are required to sign both a Volunteer Agreement and a Non-Disclosure Agreement upon entry into the program.

What are some of the VIPS Opportunities?

  • General office duties
  • Computer activities
  • Photography (secondary assignment)
  • Staff of the Citizens Police Academy (CPA)
  • General maintenance of police vehicles
  • Crime Prevention activities, to include Neighborhood Watch Programs, National Night Out, newsletters, and other similar projects at the district stations
  • Editors for numerous police department publications
  • Role-players at the Criminal Justice Academy and during other training exercises (secondary assignment)
  • Child Car Seat Inspections
  • Fingerprinting (specialized assignment) 

What personal expectations will not be fulfilled as a VIPS?

  • If you are a current college student in a criminal justice program wanting to become involved in actual police work, investigations, or other responsibilities specifically related to active cases, becoming a VIPS will not enable you to do this type of work.  Individuals seeking this kind of volunteer service may be able to apply for the Auxiliary Police Officer (APO) Program. 
  • Individuals seeking internships or externships with the FCPD should contact the FCPD’s Personnel Office for any opportunities within the department. 
  • Because most assignments require a set schedule of work, if you are only able to volunteer on an occasional basis or only specific hours or days, this type of volunteer program will probably not fit your needs. 
  • If you are required to complete community service hours for credits or court related purposes, the VIPS Program is not geared towards this temporary or court ordered volunteer service. 

What are the qualifications to become a VIPS?

  • Be at least 21 years of age (no maximum age limit for continuing service in the program)
  • In good physical and mental health
  • Able to pass a comprehensive police background check which includes credit and police checks as well as references
  • Able to pass an interview with police supervisors
  • Not currently employed as a law enforcement officer (federal, state, or military) due to possible conflict of interest
  • Complete a VIPS application form
  • Submit a one to two page resume detailing your education, skills, and employment history

Are there any mandatory time requirements I must provide to the Fairfax County Police Department?

  • Volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of service per quarters/60 hours per year 

What hours during the week will I have to volunteer?

  • Most assignments are daytime hours during the work week
  • Occasionally there may be assignments that can be completed at night or on weekends, but these are extremely rare

What training is provided?

  • Volunteers receive on-the-job training for their individual assignments.  Volunteers are not trained in doing specific police related tasks, with the exception of fingerprinting, if that is part of their responsibilities. 
  • If the assignment calls for the use of department vehicles, VIPS are required to attend a vehicle familiarization course, either at a station or the FCPD Track. 

Where can I expect to be assigned once I become a VIPS?

  • Whenever possible, we will strive to assign VIPS to areas of interest and/or preferred physical locations such as a District Station or the Criminal Justice Academy.  However, the needs of the department are of primary concern in determining where VIPS are ultimately placed.

What resources will the FCPD provide to me?

  • Polo shirts and jackets
  • On-duty insurance

Where can I learn more about openings within the VIPS Program?

VIPS Sue Hotto

VIPS Assisting Motor Officer and Motor Carrier Safety Officer



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