TUCSON – The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is looking for role players.
Two years ago, TPD started using community members as role players to help them train officers in real-life scenarios. They say using real people without law enforcement experience enhances the training.
“It could be anything from a traffic stop to a regular contact in the field where you just walk up and meet someone, shake their hand, ask if they’re a witness to a crime or possibly a victim to a crime,” said Lt. Corey Doggett, Commander in Charge of Advance Training Section for TPD. “We also do things where they are assisting us as a role player possibly the aggressor and we see how the officer is going to respond to them.”
When TPD first started, they had about 200 people sign up, but now it is down to around 40, so they are looking to replenish the numbers.
“It’s just a wide variety of social and economic and professional people throughout the city that are interested and want to know a little bit about law enforcement and what it takes to be a police officer and their training and they come out here and bring their experience and their questions,” said Jorge De la Garza, Volunteer Role Player and Police Assist Group Volunteer.
He recommends everyone to volunteer at least once.
“You get people that don’t have the experience and they come out here and they bring their normal citizen-type experience and their concerns and they get to share that with the police officers and the police officers get to hear it from a more calmer arena,” said De la Garza. “And at the same time they’re able to implement some of their experiences into the roles and it really helps the police officers out in their growth and in their practice and in their training.”
There is a role-playing training workshop on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Law Enforcement Training Center, located at 10001 S. Wilmot Rd. In order to volunteer, it is necessary to attend this training workshop.
Volunteers must RSVP to the workshop HERE.
To become a role player, volunteers do not need to commit to a certain amount of hours, they are just volunteering to be on an email list and can choose when they want to volunteer.
All volunteers must pass a background check.