The Volunteer Services program was established in 1996 to free up sworn officers' time to allow them to focus on frontline policing duties. Because the officers are able to spend more time on the important aspects of their duties, Missoula is safer and more livable.
We have 35 volunteers ranging in age from 18 to 90. Last year, the volunteers contributed over 5,700 hours to the City.
We strive to provide our volunteers with positive experiences that meet their interests, desires, and assist them in attaining their career goals. Some are retirees, some are college students, and some are graduates looking to beef up their resumes. They are community members who want to make a difference. All are extremely talented and are a great asset to our community.
Volunteers are asked to contribute a minimum of four hours per week and make a commitment of at least six months. All volunteers must fill out an application, pass a background investigation, be fingerprinted, and sign a confidentiality statement to be eligible to participate in our Volunteer Program.
Apply to Volunteer
If you would like to donate your time to help the Missoula Police Department and gain invaluable experience at the same time, please complete this online Volunteer Application. As soon as we process the application, someone from our Volunteer Services will contact you.
Areas of Help
There are many areas where the volunteers help, which include:
- Vehicle Inventory and Supply Restocking Program - All of the detective and patrol cars are stocked with emergency supplies, paperwork, stuffed animals (for frightened children), etc. This gives officers more time to spend on patrol instead of stocking their cars.
- Fingerprinting Program - Volunteers provide fingerprinting services two days a week.
- Anti-Graffiti Task Force - Volunteers in the Anti-Graffiti Task Force work closely with the Crime Prevention Officer and respond to citizens' complaints of graffiti, in a very timely manner, by photographing and painting over the graffiti. This saves an enormous amount of time and manpower for the city and keeps Missoula looking good.
- Short-Term Projects - Computer savvy volunteers assist with spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and other computer jobs. Other short term projects are available from time to time.
- Abandoned Vehicles Program - Volunteers respond to citizens' complaints of abandoned vehicles, tagging and following up to eventually have the vehicles towed. This helps keep our city free of unsightly abandoned vehicles.
- Found Property Program - Volunteers maintain the Found Property Program and try to unite citizens with their lost property.
- Pawn Program - Volunteers visit all the pawn shops in the city and pick up the pawn tickets, and then enter the information into a database. Police are then able to search for stolen property and catch the suspects. Volunteers also assist law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions in finding stolen property and suspects.
- Interns - We have had a number of volunteers working as interns in such areas, administrative management, crime analysis, presentations and other areas as needed.
- Chaplain Program - There is a senior chaplain and two associates who counsel officers.
- Clerical - Volunteers assist with various clerical duties.
- Photography - Volunteers assist with photography for special events.
- Historical Research - Volunteers are researching the history of the Missoula Police Department and produce special presentations as requested.
Opportunities for internships exist in many areas at the Missoula Police Department. We have worked with students studying Sociology, History, Geography and other majors. Areas at the police department include presentations, crime analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and researching department history.
We work with universities to ensure our interns earn college credit. A goal of ours is to give interns valuable work experience that can translate to their chosen future career. If you are interested in internship possibilities feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator.