The Coast News Group

Oceanside Harbor police seek volunteers

OCEANSIDE — In addition to highly trained harbor police officers, uniformed volunteers play a big role in keeping the harbor running smoothly. Harbor police are currently looking for a few good recruits to add to the volunteer team.

“We are looking for a few great people to help us in our duties around the Oceanside Harbor,” Don Rodgers, volunteer training and recruiting coordinator, said.

Trained volunteers perform boat safety inspections, patrol the docks, serve as harbor liaisons and help in any way needed. Their service frees up time for harbor police to address more pressing needs and provides cost savings to the city.

“At all times we’re on call if an officer needs something, from checking on a boat, to backup assistance to officers performing a rescue,” Rodgers said.

Volunteers have helped harbor police for more than 15 years. They are trained on the job and perform  independent nonenforcement duties.

“It’s a service position, as ambassadors volunteers put a good spin on the harbor,” Rodgers said.

As part of the team volunteers are counted on to put in regular hours, serve as an extra set of eyes and provide an increased police presence. Volunteers routinely put in one six-hour day a week, which totals 24 hours a month.

Most volunteers are recruited one at a time due to the specific training duties demands. The recent retirement of several volunteers has left a few vacant positions to be filled.

Volunteers must have good health, physical agility, an understanding of the harbor, ease in talking to the public, an ability to swim and love of being around the water. Boating skills are a plus and allow more opportunities for qualified volunteers.

Typical volunteers have a law enforcement background, desire to provide community service and are avid boaters.

Rodgers said any adult with a willingness to learn, and the physical ability to do the job is welcome to apply.

Other qualifications include U.S. citizenship, a driver’s license a clear DMV record and applicants must pass a police background check.

For information, contact Don Rodgers at [email protected] or (760) 435-4000.