Several members also received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award from The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation in recognition of their voluntary contributions to the Hazelwood Police Department (HPD) over the past 12 months.
The Hazelwood VIPS Unit provides a valuable service to the HPD by doing the mundane, but necessary work around the station in order to keep more officers on the streets patroling neighborhoods. These volunteers do the chores that normally would have been assigned to other police personnel. Many of the tasks they perform include setting things up for municipal court nights, helping the Court Division with paperwork, filing in the records room, and shredding documents. They also drive police cars back and forth to the garage for repairs, help check on prisoners in the city jail area, and provide security detail for city events.
The HPD began its VIPS Unit in 1996. Over the years, this organization has gone from providing 1,500 hours to more than 15,000 volunteer hours each year. Currently, there are 25 active volunteers who perform over 33 tasks throughout the department. In 2007, the Hazelwood VIPS Unit was recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as a model police volunteer program.
To help give Hazelwood police volunteers the recognition and honor they deserve for their demonstrated commitment, the VIPS Unit became one of 28,000 Certifying Organizations for The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. Established in 2003 by The Points of Light Foundation after the 9/11 tragedy, the Council’s purpose is to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and to inspire others to engage in volunteer service.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard — measured by the number of hours of service over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime. To date, more than 1.5 million of these awards have been bestowed on our nation’s deserving volunteers. Three of the award categories include the Bronze (100-249 hours), Silver (250-499 hours) and the Gold (500+ hours). In addition to an official lapel pin, each award recipient can receive a personalized certificate of achievement, as well as a congratulory letter from the President of the United States.
Here’s a list of Hazelwood police volunteers who received their President’s Volunteer Service Award at a recent City Council meeting for the number of hours of service over a 12-month period.
BRONZE AWARD (100-249 Hours)
Ruth Bohm 219.75
Runette Travis 210.75
Jeanne Bethel 188
Tina Pellerito 162.50
Pat Herrmann 127
SILVER AWARD (250-499 Hours)
Ruth Podorski 469
Dennis Lammert 400.5
Joyce Hollman 393
Dolores Kruep 377.75
Clyde Carron 349.50
Chuck Herrmann 329.25
GOLD AWARD (500+ Hours)
Tony Podorski 1237.5 **Lifetime Award – cumulated 4,000 hours
Jack Weber 934 **Lifetime Award – cumulated 4,000 hours
Stella Brown 681.5
Pat Corzine 625
Dona Carron 563
Ted Johnson 555.75
Rose Littell 547.5 **Lifetime Award – cumulated 4,000 hours
PHOTO CAPTION: (from left to right) Ret. Sgt. Don Routh, Police Chief Carl Wolf, Hazelwood police volunteer Tony Podorski, and Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson. Podorski is one of four (4) members of Hazelwood’s VIPS Unit who has cumulated over 4,000 volunteer hours since he started, which qualifies him for the prestigious President’s Call to Service Award.