The Volunteer Observers Impacting Community Effort (VOICE) Unit uses citizen volunteers to provide basic law enforcement services to the community.
VOICE, an acronym for Volunteer Observers Impacting Community Effort, is a distinguished program which embodies the community-oriented philosophy of the Lake Wales Police Department. It is the fundamental premise of the Lake Wales Police Department that through a partnership with our community criminal activity can be significantly reduced, subsequently improving the quality of life in our historic community.
Following a background investigation and training academy, VOICE members serve the
community by helping reduce the daily demands placed on law enforcement, thus allowing them to focus their resources on reducing crime. VOICE members provide crime prevention presentations, assist during critical incidents (severe weather, vehicle traffic crashes, etc.), provide traffic and crowd control during parades and special events, conduct parking enforcement, and assist with station duties. One of the most beneficial functions of the VOICE program is community patrols. During these patrols, VOICE members drive specially marked vehicles equipped with amber warning lights. The members are assigned to areas in the community where crime has either occurred or is likely to occur as determined through crime analysis. Members do not take action if they observe criminal or suspicious activity; however they observe and relay this information to sworn law enforcement that does.