Service above self is the motto of the Rotary Club. They take that notion seriously giving of their time, efforts, energy and money.
There is another group serving above self-interest, Santa Cruz Police Volunteers. This week we launched our first wave of volunteers who hit the field in numbers. Initially, the Volunteers in Policing (VIP) are walking the downtown area, educating people of ordinances and rules, introducing themselves and the program to merchants and community members. They are there to bring value to the pedestrian experience. Welcome to downtown Santa Cruz!
As the VIP program grows and expands the will also visit the elderly at their homes, check on homes while you are on vacation, tag vehicles for 72-hour violation and ticket those parked illegally in handicap accessible parking spaces.
Social science would point to this idea of collective efficacy as a good way of improving safety through affixing social norms and building social cohesion through participation in a community. Come, join, we have room for those who want to have a positive impact on our city.