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Volunteers Out in Force to Assist Cary Police

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CARY — Most people rank security or police protection as high priorities when they evaluate a community, but officers cannot be everywhere all the time.

In Cary, officials are trying to boost their presence on the streets by allowing residents to join the police force.

Michael Hiller began working in law enforcement about a month ago. He does not wear a badge or carry a gun. As a member of the CAP or Citizen's Assisting Police team, his work is very important in keeping his community safe.

"I've always respected the job that the police do, and I just wanted to learn more about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it," says Hiller.

The self-employed engineer spends nine hours a month in the Police Service Center at Cary Town Mall taking crime and vandalism reports, answering questions and passing out crime prevention material to residents.

"I'm here, so maybe there's more officers able to cruise the streets and maybe my family will be that much safer," says Hiller.

"We've got people from [age] 18 to 80. They come from various communities, they come from various backgrounds," says Officer Jim Conder of theCary Police Department.

Conder says the department has had a great response from residents wanting to volunteer. Since the program began in June, 25 people have signed up.

Conder says he sees responsibilities of volunteers could expand to include traffic assistance, house checks and coordinating special events.

He says when residents join the CAP team, they play a critical role in keeping their community safe.

"In the long run they'll save us a lot of personnel hours and answer a lot of calls that maybe a police officer does not need to respond to," says Conder.

Current CAP volunteers have completed 12 weeks of training at the Citizen's Police Academy, as well as six hours of volunteer training.

Anyone interested in the program can call469-4324for more information.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
David Renner, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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