The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office’s volunteer efforts stretch through every part of our organization and touch many areas of the community. Capt. Rick Norris commands the Community Outreach Division, including the Recruitment Team, Honor Guard and Auxiliary Program.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the Sheriff’s Office logged a total of 351,863 hours with help from hundreds of volunteers, including chaplains, auxiliary deputies, interns and inmates giving their time for the Workforce and Trustee programs. This equated to $3.6 million in savings to Virginia Beach taxpayers.
Auxiliary deputies supplement VBSO operations in the Correctional Center and elsewhere and participate in community events, including providing free child I.D. cards. They are all-volunteer and must commit a minimum of 20 hours per month and maintain proficiency in firearms, defensive tactics, first aid and other skills. The VBSO Auxiliary Program was named the 1999 Volunteer Agency of the Year by Volunteer Hampton Roads.
Sheriff Stolle and the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office are ardent supporters of Special Olympics Virginia. VBSO deputies and civilians volunteer their time for various Special Olympics events throughout the year, including the Summer Games in Richmond, and raise money for the athletes, including through the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the Polar Plunge and the Tip-a-Cop and Cover a Cruise events.
The Sheriff’s Office holds quarterly blood drives to benefit the American Red Cross (collecting 211 units of blood this year), raises money for charity through the Sheriff
Community Fund, supports Virginia Beach Crime Solvers, participates in the United Way Day of Caring, supports the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, and participates in the Cops & Kids event, which takes underprivileged children to buy Christmas presents. The office is also actively involved in Law Enforcement United and its annual Road to Hope, a 250 mile bicycle ride to Washington to honor fallen officers and raise money for their families and related charities.
The VBSO is active in schools, with volunteers helping on the first day, giving their time at school events and having lunch with students through the Lunch with a Deputy program. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office hosts students for the “Official for a Day” shadowing program, participates in the Every 15 Minutes program to deter students from drinking and driving, and provides jail tours to high school civics students throughout the school year.
The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Program is part of the Training Division and largely targets safety initiatives for seniors. The VBSO’s Community Outreach Coordinator Gary Zalas maintains a membership with S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) and sits on its executive board. S.A.L.T.’s mission is to educate senior citizens about how to protect themselves from crime. In addition, Mr. Zalas is on the Strategic Action Committee for Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia and is a liaison to the Mayor’s Commission on Aging, including assisting with the annual Seniors Showcase attended by 350 seniors. He spearheads the VBSO’s child I.D. program (Ident-A-Kid) and Operation Lookout Expanded, a program to provide free home security assessments and extra-large peepholes for seniors in our community. To contact Mr. Zalas about either program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about our Community Outreach or to request VBSO participation in a community event, send an email with details to Capt. Norris at email@example.com. Please keep in mind that we receive many requests and cannot staff all of them.