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Old October 4, 2013, 02:52 PM   #1
dajowi
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Preparing the nation for what?

A local paper had a photo of a police car at the local Costco and the headline: FEMA PART OF PARKING PATROL. The program is called VIPS or Volunteers in Police Service. It's been in operation in our town since 1994. It's purpose at Costco is to identify and warn people who shouldn't be parking in disabled parking spaces. According to the Chief of Police in 2012 over 1,000 warnings were issue at Costco and in town.

The VIPS program is part of Citizen Corps administered through FEMA and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Citizen Corps motto is: "UNITING COMMUNITIES, PREPARING THE NATION."

My question is preparing the nation for what? Anyone have any first hand knowledge of Citizen Corps?
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Old October 4, 2013, 03:11 PM   #2
HarrySchell
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I have no experience to offer, but using a citizen corps to police parking lots in this busybody manner is deeply offensive and not a small worry. Will they start citing smokers, next?

There have been some experiments using "citizens" as meter maids in CA, and even here people are queered by the idea.

I think the answer, with recent events in the national parks and closure of businesses which have no government funding, no government employees, etc, may be "whatever we damn please".
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Old October 4, 2013, 03:11 PM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
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Please answer the question precisely and without going off on a grand conspiracy unless you have provable info about such.
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Old October 4, 2013, 03:25 PM   #4
Vanya
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From the VIPS website:
Quote:
Origin of the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program

President George W. Bush created USA Freedom Corps (USAFC) to build on the countless acts of service, sacrifice, and generosity that followed September 11. When he announced USAFC in his 2002 State of the Union address, he called on all Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves.

Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.

Citizen Corps partner programs build on the successful efforts in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) is one of five Citizen Corps partner programs.
Citizen Corps is administered by FEMA; The mission of VIPS is to support local police agencies in developing volunteer programs, and to help people find volunteer opportunities.

It doesn't appear to be an existential threat to our constitutional rights.
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Old October 4, 2013, 07:40 PM   #5
BigD_in_FL
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My youngest son was enrolled in a similar program as an Emergency First Responder - here in FL that would have been for the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane - from rendering immediate first aid to helping folks get to shelters or triage tents or something similar in a state of emergency
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Old October 5, 2013, 10:15 AM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Our community has an active Citizens' Police Academy Program, and graduates help with a number of community activities. Some graduates enter the VIPS program.

It's really about community participation.
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Old October 7, 2013, 05:31 AM   #7
Salmoneye
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Quote:
Citizen Corps motto is: "UNITING COMMUNITIES, PREPARING THE NATION."

My question is preparing the nation for what?
I scanned the site, and still can not answer your question...

http://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps-partner-programs
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:13 AM   #8
Vireye
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I have several training books I used to train my guys, one of which was provided to me by FEMA/DHS, with a nice-sized Citizen Corps logo on it. Once you read the guide you can take an online test and become certified by FEMA.

Its preparation for a plethora of scenarios that one could (But, God-willing, won't) encounter.



The table of contents is thus:

Part 1: Basic Preparedness

Part 2: Natural Hazards (Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, extreme heat and cold, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, fires, wildfires)

Part 3: Technological Hazards (Hazardous Material Incidents, Household Chemical Emergencies, Nuclear Power Plants)

Part 4: Terrorism (General info, explosions, biological threats, chemical threats, nuclear blast, radiological dispersion device, homeland security advisement system)

Part 5: Recovering From Disaster

The rest of the book consists of a family disaster plan outline, water conservation tips, and a disaster supplies checklist.

The idea of it all is to have entire communities receive this basic training and know what to do should any of the above occur, in an effort to prevent complete chaos due to a large population and only a relatively small force of first responders.


Its an excellent resource and I'd recommend it to anyone. And no I am not a Government drone.
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Old October 7, 2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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We've got a similar thing, the 'sheriffs citizen patrol.' Just retires who need something to do. They can usually seen driving around in their citizen patrol ford Taurus well below the speed limit with the blinker on (no joke).

They give people warning about water usage violations, and (this is the part I see a big problem with) if someone is parked on a handicapped spot illegally, they park behind them and block them in until the real LEOs get there to issue a ticket.
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Old October 8, 2013, 05:15 AM   #10
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Why not?....seemed to work well in the 1980's....

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0093756/
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Old October 8, 2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
They give people warning about water usage violations, and (this is the part I see a big problem with) if someone is parked on a handicapped spot illegally, they park behind them and block them in until the real LEOs get there to issue a ticket.
whats the problem you have, the illegal parking in handicap spot or the double parked vehicle?
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Old October 8, 2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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We are wandering off topic. Anything about the OP before the close, then?
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Old October 9, 2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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Looks like Vireye may have adequately answered the OP, and I certainly feel more enlightened, thank you.

In the OP's support, no, I don't think it's paranoia to question these sorts of things these days .

W.
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Old October 9, 2013, 02:01 PM   #14
spacecoast
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So... how does parking space monitoring (or practicing parking space monitoring) prepare the nation better for any of those scenarios?

If local agencies want to organize civilians for preparedness purposes, fine. I'd just rather FEMA (or any other federal agency) stay out of it. Otherwise we'll be paying for 500-page manuals on how to monitor a parking space, and to whom to grant exemptions from enforcement.
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Old October 9, 2013, 02:58 PM   #15
Glenn E. Meyer
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OK - nothing more to be seen here until the giant asteroid hits or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride down your street.

We will be ready.

Closed.
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