UPDATE: HEMET: Police volunteers locate elderly, “at-risk,” missing woman

HEMET — City of Hemet Police volunteers are being credited with locating an elderly, “at-risk,” missing adult, Friday, Sept. 29. The woman was located and safely returned to her residence after two police volunteers spotted her, lost and wandering, on the streets of Hemet.

Officials did not specify if the woman had been reported missing from a private residence, retirement home or assisted-living facility.

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The woman, who had become lost after wandering away from her residence, was tired and dehydrated, but otherwise uninjured.

Hemet Police Volunteer Elrod guides an “at-risk,” missing woman who was found wandering the streets of Hemet Friday, Sept. 29. Hemet PD photo

After being escorted back to her residence, the victim – whose name was not released by officials – had nothing but praise for the volunteer officers who officials say were instrumental in locating her and ensuring she was safely returned home.

That praise was later echoed by Hemet PD and City officials who congratulated and thanked their volunteer officers – saying in a social media post, “HPD volunteers are gold.”

In that release, officials shared that Hemet PD Volunteers Elrod and Noriega located the missing woman in the 2200 block of West Oakland Avenue, east of Kirby Street and south of W. Menlo Avenue, in Hemet.

After the incident City of Hemet Councilwoman Karlee Meyer expressed her gratitude and appreciation of the City’s police volunteers saying, “I want to especially thank Volunteers Elrod and Noriega for their diligence in locating one of our ‘at-risk’ Hemet residents.”

“Their situational awareness and prompt response demonstrates the quality of service we strive for here in Hemet,” Meyer continued.

While volunteers were returning the victim to her residence, she reportedly told them how much she appreciated them and their hard-work and dedication and that she “doesn’t ever want to live anywhere but Hemet,” according to the release.

“This is a great example of our volunteer’s professionalism and commitment to serving our community,” Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown said in an e-mail response after the incident. “I’m very proud of them.”

Hemet PD volunteers Noriega (pictured on the far left) and Elrod (pictured on the far right) were instrumental in locating and returning an “at-risk,” elderly woman to her residence after she became lost. Hemet PD photo

Volunteers “making Hemet a better place.”

“Our volunteers have become a vital piece of our team,” said Brown. Hemet PD volunteers “put in thousands of hours of work every year making Hemet a better place.”

Hemet Police volunteers provide a variety of different services to the City of Hemet and the police department. Hemet PD photo

“Our City’s volunteers are valuable assets to the operation of our police department and these volunteers give of themselves daily for the betterment of our community,” said Meyer.

Created in 1993, Hemet Police Department’s Volunteer Program is a way for citizens to assist and supplement Hemet Police Department’s sworn police officers.

The program was designed to offer citizens an opportunity to assist their city and the Police Department by handling certain duties, which in turn free sworn police officers to be more proactive and respond to higher priority calls for service.

With more than 100 active members, Hemet Police Department’s volunteers bring decades of life experience and a variety of skills to the program.

Volunteers can be assigned to Hemet PD’s main police station or sub-stations, where they interact with and assist other citizens with a variety of responsibilities for the department and the City of Hemet, such as conducting Livescan fingerprinting, processing and working in records filing police reports, and assisting with Alzheimer’s registrations.

Volunteers also provide other services to the Department and City, such as patrolling neighborhoods, shopping centers and parks; performing traffic enforcement on city streets and shopping centers; helping to form and start Neighborhood Watch programs; assisting with vehicle maintenance; performing traffic control at collisions, fires, crime scene call outs, emergencies, and during natural disasters; speaking to civic groups; providing extra patrol and property checks while homeowners are on vacation; babysitting lost children until their parents can be located; and helping Alzheimer’s patients who have become separated from their families.

A Hemet PD volunteer provides parking and traffic control during the City’s annual Tinsel Triathlon. Hemet PD photo

Additionally, police volunteers serve at events such as The Ramona Pageant, the City’s Annual Christmas Parade, Public Safety Fairs, Harvest Festival, Special Olympics Relay, Veterans Day Celebration and other events.

With so many different assignments available, volunteers are able to work in the fields that interest them most and that they are most comfortable in.

Join Hemet PD’s team of volunteers

Prospective volunteers are required to attend Hemet PD’s six week long Volunteer Academy, during which volunteers attend 3-hour classes once a week, over the course of six weeks.

After graduating from the Volunteer Academy, new volunteers are assigned to veteran volunteers for further training and education and can choose from a number of different assignments suited to their personal interests, abilities, and availability.

The volunteer program is coordinated by Victor Varia, a Hemet PD volunteer himself and is supervised by Hemet Police Sergeant Nate Miller.

For additional information about becoming a volunteer, visit City of Hemet’s website.

Hemet Police Department’s volunteers are an integral part of the City’s public safety program. Hemet PD photo

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.

 

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