Volunteer Observers Impacting Community Effort, more commonly known by its acronym, V.O.I.C.E. began in 1988 when the Lee County Sheriff's Office needed additional deputies but did not have the budget to hire them. V.O.I.C.E. members contributed more than 55,000 hours service in 2012 reflecting a $1.23 million dollar savings to tax paying citizens in Lee County.
V.O.I.C.E. is comprised of concerned citizens who care about their community and are dedicated to helping the Sheriff’s Office provide a higher level of service to its citizens and visitors. Initially, the primary function of the volunteers was neighborhood patrol, but over the years those responsibilities have greatly expanded. V.O.I.C.E. members continue to patrol as extra eyes and ears in the neighborhoods enabling certified law enforcement deputies to respond to the the more serious calls for service.
You'll see these volunteers assisting in traffic control, traffic surveys, business patrols, picking up found property, canvassing neighborhoods, tagging abandoned vehicles, processing visitors at the stockade and many clerical and support service duties. Members also enjoy assisting non-profit organizations and civic groups with event traffic control, fingerprinting, lost children searches and coordination of medical emergencies.
Applicants must be:
- 18 years of age with a high school diploma or G.E.D.
- Possess a valid driver’s license.
- Be in good health.
- Have no criminal record.
- Applicants that have served in the military must have been honorably discharged.
- Upon acceptance, applicants must undergo field training to prepare them for their new duties.
- V.O.I.C.E. members are required to donate a minimum of 16 hours per month.
If you're interested, please call the Lee County Sheriff’s V.O.I.C.E. Office at (239) 477-1422.