Jack Burrell began volunteering for the Bellevue Police Department in 1990, before there was a volunteer program, and he served as the city's first volunteer parking enforcement officer.
The department honored Burrell and other volunteers at its annual appreciation luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Eastgate on Oct. 15. Twenty-four volunteers were recognized in all, including Dean Snyder, Susan Allen and Bob Herschkowitz, who were honored for 15 years serving the department.
Volunteers are a major help for the Bellevue Police, with about 50 people offering their time to do a variety of tasks, including staffing community police stations, performing clerical work and ticketing cars parked in handicap zones.
Burrell, a Navy veteran, began volunteering for the police department as a ham radio operator with the Eastside Amateur Radio Support (EARS) group, then affiliated with the police dispatch center. Burrell started issuing certain parking citations for the city in 1995, after testifying with officers in Olympia to enable volunteers to be commissioned for such duties.
Burrell now assists fraud detectives with Internet crime investigations.
With the city budget tightened, many local businesses donated door prizes for the luncheon. Embassy Suites offered its facilities for the event at a reduced cost. The Bellevue Police Officers' Guild, the Bellevue Police Benevolent Association and the Bellevue Police Management Association donated cash and door prizes.
"The support shown to our volunteers by the community and by our own officers and staff sets this program apart from many others," said police volunteer program coordinator Marji Trachtman. "I think it speaks to the level of professionalism and respect that these volunteers have earned from everyone they deal with."
The police volunteer program was formally started in 1994. Over the 15 years it's been in existence, volunteers have worked more than 145,000 hours and saved Bellevue close to $3 million. By handling many support and administrative tasks, volunteers free up officers and paid staff to focus on primary law enforcement activities and allow the department to offer expanded services to the community.
Interested in volunteering for Bellevue? See volunteer opportunities, including police support.
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