Volunteers Assisting Pueblo Police (VAPP)
Volunteers Assisting Pueblo Police (VAPP) was created in 2013 by Officer Shelly Taylor. The concept of leveraging the skills and abilities of volunteers to help the Department accomplish tasks on a significant level was somewhat foreign to the Pueblo Police Department prior to the establishment of the volunteer program in 2013. The volunteer program, called Volunteers Assisting Pueblo Police (V.A.P.P.), places individuals who want to help the Pueblo Police Department in meaningful assignments that help the Department accomplish tasks that it would otherwise not be able to accomplish.
"I have had the privilege of working next to and with our volunteers for several years now. What a great group of people we have who support us beyond explanation. Their willingness to share their own time with us on meaningful work to support our department and community speaks volumes. I commend each and everyone of our excellent volunteers who are a part of our Pueblo Police family."
~Officer Brandon Beauvais
"Since the inception of the volunteer program at the Pueblo Police Department, I have had the opportunity to meet many, many high-quality individuals who have volunteered their time to help the department. These civic-minded individuals are the best that our community has to offer, and they have been an inspiration to me. They have helped the department in numerous ways, such as issuing handicap parking citations, preparing for large events such as Neighborhood Safety Night and the Ice Cup, completing office-related tasks, etc. I am eternally grateful for all that our volunteers have done for the department, and I’m even more grateful for the friendships that we have built!" ~ Captain Kenny Rider
"They have made my life easier by entering subpoenas into our binders. This is time consuming and since they have taken over this task; it has freed me up to do other things. They work hard to keep our storage area full of items that we need on a daily basis; which is a huge asset since property isn’t open all of the time for officers." ~Sergeant Shelly Taylor
"While training with the SWAT team the VAPP volunteers were very helpful. Several days they would put themselves in the role of suspect or hostage and assist with building searches and hostage rescue scenarios. They would help even though the buildings were sometimes dirty or dusty and they always had a very positive attitude. They were willing to work long hot dirty hours and stayed involved for the as long as the team would train. The assistance they provide is invaluable to the team, making training more realistic. Please thank them all." ~Corporal William Doyle
"The Crimes Against Persons Unit has utilized VAPP to assist in areas that are very time consuming but vital to the unit. The volunteers have sifted through surveillance videos looking for a small amount of specific information we were looking for. We have used them to help copy large amounts of information for a homicide case...The assistance provided by VAPP on projects that are time consuming helps utilize the detectives time in other areas of their case load and is greatly appreciated." ~Sergeant Dustin Dodge"
"I have had the opportunity to work with many of the volunteers over the past several months. With the number of classes I teach in the academy, with the SWAT team and with our recent 40-hour Basic SWAT school, they have contributed to our classes numerous times. Although I have had the pleasure of working with many, three volunteers seems to consistently be part of our world. Kristy, Peg, and Selena have assisted with a number of the classes. They are always present, engaged, and completely understand what we need from them to make the training and the scenarios move the right direction. They are in-tune with the needs of the instructors and the varied level of experience of the students. With the 40-hour Basic SWAT school, Kristy took it even further. In addition to assisting as a role player for the classes and scenarios, she was instrumental in the pre-planning of the class. She assisted in gather the PowerPoint documents, she held to organize the locations of the scenarios, and created the lesson plans for the entire week of classes. The behind-the-scenes organization is own of the things which makes a big class like that happen without issues, and she was the driver of this. The class would not have happened so smoothly without her work and organization." ~ Sergeant Dennis Furbush
"Our VAPP employees are AWESOME! I would especially like to thank all who have helped the S.W.A.T. Team in the past role playing as suspects or victims during scenario training. I would like to especially thank Peg, Kristy, and Diana. When it comes time to help, these three ladies don’t mind getting dirty (up to including being covered in fake blood), or crawling around on the floor, or being handcuffed several times in a day to enhance the realism of our S.W.A.T. and T.E.M.S. training. I must say they are pretty talented actresses as well! Thanks for all you do to help us perform better when it counts." ~Corporal Stephen Jesik
"I volunteer because I want to give back to my community and make it a better place to live. I love Pueblo history and now being involved in the re-building of the PPD history has added another piece to the history of Pueblo. I’ve enjoy helping the recruits and SWAT team train in a “role-playing” position. I’m glad that I can help in a small way to make them better at their jobs and thereby keeping them safe. When I’m out at a public event I enjoy sharing information about crime prevention and helping everyone to be aware of how they can help themselves and be the “extra set of eyes” to the officers on the streets." ~ Peg
"I was ecstatic that I was accepted! I wanted to help with everything! ...it was so wonderful to be in a position you completely enjoy." ~Pearl
"I have enjoyed every minute of the time I spend volunteering. I have learned so much from volunteering with the Pueblo Police Department. To include policies and procedures, how much our officers sacrifice and how fun it is to volunteer with other people that have the same passion to support our officers and our community. If I had to choose one thing, it would be making friends with other volunteers and department employees" ~Kristy
"Role playing in the different training scenarios has been quite an experience. Many different emotions come into play and although it’s nothing like the real streets, it is so important to try and give a real life situation so the officers in training can prepare themselves because as we know, anything can happen. Seeing the compassion in our officers in wanting to help what they might see as an innocent, helpless person was heartwarming and turning into a “bad” person was difficult but was certainly an eye opener for them. I love giving back to my community and if turning “bad” in these scenarios helps save their lives in the real world, I’ll do it again." ~Serena
"During my time with VAPP, I was exposed to many learning experiences, and was trusted with tasks that would contribute to the overall purposes of the Pueblo Police Department. I spent time learning and helping to implement the Neighborhood Watch Program throughout the city (preparing handouts, making and taking citizen phone calls, attending meetings, etc.) It was a great feeling to see how that program grew under the direction of the Crime Prevention Officer; it was greatly satisfying to know that I had a small part in that." ~Tom