Volunteers key to pilot program | NevadaAppeal.com

Volunteers key to pilot program

Rhonda Costa-Landers, Appeal Staff Writer
Brian Corley photo.Beth Clark, an 89-year-old Nevada Department of Public Safety volunteer, sits at her desk Monday as Nevada Highway Patrol Sergeant Ed Harney stands in the back.
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The 12 volunteers in the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s “Volunteers in Policing” pilot program have provided more than 1,000 hours of work and saved the state about $11,000.

The program was the idea of Lt. Rick Keema, commander of the Nevada Highway Patrol Records and Identification Bureau.

The volunteer hours reflect time worked since the program began in May. Two sources providing volunteers include American Association of Retired Persons and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

“I do a lot of work like filing and opening the mail,” said 89-year-old Beth B. Clark of Carson City. “And I scanned books.”

Job positions range from clerical and data entry to filing, answering the phones, fingerprint analysis and customer service. Because of confidentiality and sensitive information, a background check is completed on each volunteer candidate as well as training once they are accepted.

Clark is a volunteer with RSVP in Carson City. A former volunteer with AARP in Gardnerville, Clark said she has worked all her life and likes people, so she wanted to continue working with others.

“I work about six hours a week,” said Clark, who started her volunteer position in the Nevada Highway Patrol Records and Identification Bureau on June 11. Volunteers are asked to work a minimum 12 hours per month at any of the 12 public safety divisions.

“When they told me about the program, I thought it would be interesting,” said Clark with a broad smile. “Plus, I just love uniforms.

“And I love it here. I do find it very interesting. It’s something I’ve never done before.”

“It’s amazing how fast you can count on the volunteers,” said Tenna Herman, Clark’s supervisor.

“They work very well with the employees. We just love and enjoy them.”

“I enjoy the people who work here,” said Clark, a former teacher of 38 years. “They are hard workers and have a great sense of humor. I enjoy them so much. I think of them as my students — smart, vivacious and fun.”

Program Officer Diane McCord said each of the volunteers is worth their weight in gold.

“They spend a lot of time in the file room organizing,” said McCord.

“They spend time scanning, running background checks on people for employment with senior care homes, day-care centers, doing fingerprint cards. They’re all over the place helping out.

“We’re hoping to pick up more volunteers. The program is open to all ages. We’ve got all the information posted on our Web site. All someone has to do is come in, fill out an application and we start the background process.”

FYI

What: Volunteers in Policing program

Where: Nevada Department of Public Safety

Info: http://www.nvrepository.state.nv.us or 687-1600, ext. 263