LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Police Department has unveiled a new program called "Volunteers In Police Service."
They say it's an effort to provide better service to crime victims.
Volunteers would contact victims to update them on their case status and answer general questions.
LPD says they have carefully researched this program and called other Texas police departments who have already have great success with it.
Lubbock police say they receive calls all the time from everyday citizens who want to know what they can do to help; now they say have the perfect opportunity.
"There's a lot of times where perhaps if a case doesn't have any suspect information or no viable evidence to work with," said Lt. John Hayes with Persons Crimes. "Sometimes victims aren't contacted and they're kind of left in limbo - we see that as an issue."
Detectives say they carry as many as 30 cases every day, but if violent crimes like homicides happen, they are pulled over to help.
This is where the need for volunteers comes in.
"Not to say any one case is less important than another but at the same time, I need as much of my people's time free so that they can work on those cases where we're going to prosecute somebody," Hayes said. "So the volunteers will be really, really important to us making contact in some of the other cases."
When serious crimes do happen, detectives say their other cases pile up on them. Police say this new initiative will help the workload and improve customer service.
"I am very excited about this because I think it's a great thing for the community," said Assistant Police Chief in Investigations Jerry Brewer. "It further solidifies the bond that the police department wants to have with the community, to let them know that yes they are important and when they call the police they are important, when we take that report call that's an important call."
The police say they work very hard on these cases and this is an opportunity to invite the community to see the process first hand.
"These guys up here in investigations put in a lot of hours - a lot of hard work. They're personally invested in a lot of these cases so for some of that effort to be seen, I think is good," Lt. Hayes said.
Police say volunteers over 21 are invited to apply and submit to a background check, similar to a police recruiting process.
They say they will start with up to six people who can volunteer three days a week, four hours a day.
Anyone interested is encouraged to call Sgt. Marc Wall at 775-2400.