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Waco Police Department searching for dedicated volunteers to assist crime victims

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 18:30:47-05

WACO, TX — The Waco Police Department is looking for volunteers to join the Victim Services Unit, a service that provides assistance for those in the community going through a difficult time.

"A lot of victims out there don't know of the resources that are available to them, and that is why we go out there," said Missy Sparks, volunteer coordinator for the Waco Police Department's Victim Services Unit.

The department currently has 11 volunteers who dedicate their time to support the Waco PD and the community.

"They give a lot of their time, and they are very passionate about what they do," said Sparks.

Jacqueline Warnell has been a volunteer for almost two years, and says the reward is priceless.

"To know that I am helping someone, that is the main point, whether it's an officer or a family. I love it, being able to help someone, that is what we are there for," she said.

Warnell works full-time, is a mother of five and dedicates time to volunteer. On average, she volunteers for over 32 shifts a month, when the requirement is only four. Her total hours typically surpass 5,000. She says it's the experiences that keep her coming back.

"It was an elderly lady, her husband passed, and her family were hours away. I stayed with her for as long as I could. She was so appreciative, and to know no one else was there to help her," said Warnell.

Being a part of the unit is an opportunity to serve and make an impact in your own community.

If you would like to serve, the training academy is on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Applications for the academy are due by February 5.

The unit designed to educate volunteers on the topics of death notifications, homicides, suicides, sexual assaults, robberies, family violence and officer injuries.