By Charles Kelleher Harris
Although Mint Hill is considered one of the safest neighborhoods not only in the county, but the entire state, Chief Tim Ledford says that any extra help for his department goes a long way.
To that end, in 2011 the Mint Hill Volunteer Police Service was created, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
For the last four years a handful of Mint Hill residents have taken out of their personal time to provide back up and support to the Mint Hill Police Department.
“[These] volunteers provide expertise and time to enhance our daily tasks,” said Ledford.
“The Mint Hill Volunteer ladies and gentlemen patrol neighborhoods and do paperwork,” said David Marcinko, a member of the MHPD Volunteer Service.
Volunteers are equipped with radio scanners so they are able to keep abreast with what maybe be going on in their town.
“If we see anything going on in our neighborhood we can radio for an officer,” said Marcinko.
“They receive vehicle training in vehicle operations, data entry, traffic control, presentations and webpage management,” said Ledford.
Assignments range from becoming a false alarm co-ordinator to fleet services coordinator and help with crime prevention.
Volunteers, after receiving training, will engage in neighborhood patrol, working security at town events and assisting school resource officers.
The department also has a vehicle assigned for use by the MHPD Volunteer Service when needed.
MHPD Volunteers do not carry firearms or weapons of any kind. They also do not conduct routine traffic stops are criminal investigations, nor do they make citizen’s arrests.
“A lot of time time neigh- borhood disputes and drug activity have been [curbed] by the presence of our po- lice vehicle,” Marcinko revealed.
According to Marcinko last year the MHPD Volunteer Service saved the police department more than $20,000 through their volunteer efforts.
Currently there are nine local residents on the MHPD Volunteer Service roster, but more are desired.
“We’d like to see at least four more,” Marcinko said. The MHPD Volunteer Service is open to any adult that lives in Mint Hill. In addition to training, each applicant must pass a background check and screening. Interested residents should contact the MHPD volunteer coordinator Robin Imirie at 704-545-1085 or email@example.com