LOS BANOS — The Los Banos Police Department is lauding the work of last year's volunteers and asking more members of the public to get involved.
"Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community and they continue to support the idea that Los Banos is a community worth investing in," Police Chief Gary Brizzee said.
In 2012, there were 355 people who donated more than 9,000 combined hours to the Police Department through the Police Activities League, Los Banos Volunteers for Animals and Volunteers Interacting to Advance Law Enforcement.
Over 24 years, volunteers have participated as coaches, record keepers, score keepers, board members and taken on other duties as well.
In 2012, Junior Giants, girls softball, flag football, Sober-Grad and Kops for Kids had more than 1,700 youth involved. Volunteers numbering 317 devoted more than 4,700 hours to PAL-run programs.
PAL Director Noah Jones said he is proud of the ballfield makeover Junior Giants won this year.
The contest netted a $20,000 makeover for the Seventh Street Ballfields, including replacing the infields, repainting buildings and hanging a league banner.
VITAL assists the police with some of the more mundane, but important, aspects of law enforcement, police said. In 2012, members of the volunteer group patrolled neighborhoods for abandoned vehicles and removed more than 200, escorted parades, assisted with DUI checkpoints and fingerprinted children at public events.
The 15 members of Volunteers for Animals spent more than 2,400 hours caring for more than 2,237 animals in 2012. They help to clean, feed and socialize shelter animals. More than 70 percent of the animals that came to the shelter last year were adopted, fostered or returned to their owners.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Jones at (209) 827-6033 or crime analyst Megan Soares or Brizzee at (209) 827-7070.