The Maricopa Police Department recognized nearly 150 volunteers Thursday during a first-ever awards ceremony.
“This has been a pile up of almost four years of not recognizing our volunteers; we needed to,” Sgt. Hal Koozer said.
The policed department also recognized 49 volunteers for their outstanding participation with the volunteer program during 2012.
The recognized were: Linda Austin, Michael Baehr, Lucinda Bahe, Cynthia Black, Harold Bourquin Jr., James Brown, Larry Brown, Karen Capps, Renate Chamberlin, Becky Clark, Terry Clark, Peter Cockle, Judy Collins, Deb Dahn-Chern, Jim DeVenezia, Matt Dougherty, Paul Ellis, Tom Frink, Christine Fuller, James Fuller, Donna Gherbassi, Debbi Giannecchini, Joi-Ashli Gibbs, Ricky Gregory, Debra Gregory, Missy Hapner, Ike Harris, Dale Jones, Jim Kuzmic, Rosie Kuzmic, Chuck Martin, Rod McIntire, Dianne Morrow, James “J.B.” Owens, Sherry Peterson, Marty Richards, Sandra Quinn, Tommy Ronca, Raquel Saspe, Ellie Sharp, Gene Sharp, Sharon Siegel, David Smith, Jean Warner, Tom Warner, Kanton Washington, Bernadette Williams, Cecil Winn and Sue Winn.
“We ask that they do eight hours a month and we have volunteers doing 100-plus hours a month,” Koozer said.
Koozer said some volunteers received pins for years of service they can wear as part of their uniform.
James Brown and Karen Capps were both recognized at Thursday’s ceremony.
Brown, 54, said he has volunteered with the police department for almost two years. He said he works about 50 hours each month and works for the citizens on patrol program.
“I was new to this community and really wanted to help out the community,” he said. “I also like getting outside.”
Capps, 58, said she started volunteering about six months ago and works about 45 hours each month, including an eight-hour shift once a week doing administrative work.
“Not a day goes by that we aren’t told we’re appreciated,” she said.
Capps is also the Block Watch Captain on her street.
“If you really want to be part of the solution, and not the problem, volunteering is the best way to tackle the issue,” she said. “Work with them, not against them.”
Koozer said the program was started in 2008 and the 100th application was turned in on Thursday.Programs available for volunteers to work with are victim’s assistance, park patrol, graffiti abatement, administration, youth outreach, Chaplin services, citizens on patrol, command post response team and block watch residential and commercial.
Koozer said the department is starting a new program called SMILE, Safety Magic in Law Enforcement, which will promote safety in a fun way to children.
Thursday’s festivities were held at Province.