The Bedford Police Department has had the VIPS program since 2014.
VIPS stands for Volunteers in Police Service. There are 20 different volunteer categories in which 64 people volunteer to help Bedford PD serve Bedford citizens.
Vacation Home Check is one of those programs. I followed Michael Paul and Lowell Stivison as they checked on the home of a resident who was away.
Homeowners fill out a form letting VIPS know what is normal and they go out looking for anything abnormal. If they find it, they don't investigate. They call police dispatch, which will send an officer to investigate.
Vacation Home Check has a VIPS check once a day for up to two weeks.
Since 2014, VIPS has helped Bedford PD save almost $900,000.00 because citizens volunteered to do work that freed up police.
To be a member of VIPS, you must live or work in Bedford, graduate from the 12-week Bedford Citizens' Police Academy and complete VIPS training.
To sign up for a Vacation Home Check or for information about joining VIPS, call Bedford PD at (817) 952-2440.