Mitchel Englander

Councilman Mitch Englander Thursday introduced a 15- member volunteer patrol team that will serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for officers in Los Angeles Police Department’s Devonshire Division.

The members will wear custom uniforms — white, buttoned-up shirts and black pants — and ride around in two LAPD-issued vehicles identifying them as volunteer patrol units.

The members of the patrol team will not receive weapons nor be able to issue citations, since they are not police officers. Instead, they will report suspicious activity and people, or perform duties such as home checks, searching for missing individuals, traffic control, brush-fire surveillance and watching for juveniles who are out during school hours.

The team members must undergo a daylong training session in the scope of their duties, plus a four-hour vehicle training.

City officials hope to expand the team to as many as 50 volunteers. The Devonshire patrol team is being seen as a test-run for an eventual citywide program, according to Englander aide Stephanie Saporito.

—City News Service

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