September’s Las Vegas citizen of the month award went to band of volunteers for their efforts to keep the city safe.
The City Council recognized the Metro Volunteer Program during its meeting Sept. 5. About 20 volunteers showed up at council chambers in City Hall to accept.
The volunteers assist the Metropolitan Police Department, providing extra eyes and ears around the Strip and at McCarran International Airport. The group’s specialty response traffic team helps Metro officers at the scenes of fatal crashes.
“The volunteers really don’t get the recognition they deserve; they work really hard,” Volunteer Program coordinator Sharon Harding said. “They do everything they can to help the officers because they understand what a difficult job they have.”
The volunteers are collectively honored this month via digital and metal signs near City Hall. Council members have taken turns choosing citizen of the month recipients since the 1990s. Ward 4 Councilman Stavros Anthony — a former Metro police captain — chose this month’s honorees.
“These citizens are everyday people, but they’re doing extraordinary things,” Anthony said.
Mary Young, 75, a recent retiree and volunteer who has been with the program for over a year and a half, said she enjoys the camaraderie.
“I just enjoy the participation, the involvement, meeting citizens and the people I work with,” Young said. “This is my gift back to the community.”
Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank also praised the group at the meeting.
The Metro Volunteer Program formed in 1996 and has grown to about 500 participants. Besides acting as watchdogs, the volunteers participate in safety and educational events at schools, report handicap-parking violations and help Three Square food bank distribute food.
Last year, the volunteers collectively donated 168,800 hours of service, Harding said.
“My job is a pleasure because I work with people that really want to be there,” she said.
How to join
Those interested in joining the Metro Volunteer Program can contact Sharon Harding at 702-828-5609 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or can apply through Metro’s website at lvmpd.com.
Volunteers respond to nonconfrontational situations that don’t require use of force.
- Must be able to work eight hours per month
- Must be be at least 18 years old, or 21 for those in handicap-parking enforcement
- Must undergo a background check