By Sarah Sanchez
Diamond Bar/Walnut – The Walnut-Diamond Bar Sheriff’s Booster Club recently held their Annual Golf Tournament to honor over 100 Walnut-Diamond Bar Sheriff Department’s volunteers who give their time to improve the service and security to the cities of Walnut and Diamond Bar, and the unincorporated communities of Rowland Heights, Covina Hills and West Covina.
“Thousands of hours are donated annually by our department’s volunteers, explorers, reserves and disaster communication specialists,” said Captain Jeff Scroggin in a previous interview. The golf tournament was held to provide the needed uniforms and equipment to these volunteers.
Sheriff Booster Club President, Gil Rivera, previously stated that the golf tournament had a great community participation. There were a total of 127 golfers, which is the largest number of participants that they have ever had, according to Rivera. There were also 26 volunteers in attendance from the volunteer division of the Sheriff’s Department.
This is the only fundraiser the Sheriff’s Booster Club does annually so it’s really important to the club. Every year, the golf tournament makes a little more money than the previous year, according to Captain Scroggin. But he says that the Sheriff’s Booster Club does a really good job managing the money they receive.
“This is a very good club, a very specific club, and they raise funds for a charitable cause,” said Scroggin. The Sheriff Booster Club is a valid 5013(c) non-profit and all the board members are volunteers.
“The club has done a very good job under Gil’s presidency,” said Scroggin. “Gil and Andy [Lujan] have done a great job keeping us on track with all of our records.” The club also has an outside accounting firm that manages all their financials.
Scroggin added, “The club provides funds to give back to the folks who volunteer all these hours to the community.”
“Volunteers contribute about 20,000 hours a year,” Mark Saldeke said. This number doesn’t include explorers or reserve deputies. Some volunteers will spend up to 240 hours a month volunteering, according to Scroggin.
These volunteers are extremely important to the Sheriff’s Department. “Volunteers do provide a higher level of service every day,” said Scroggin. Volunteers will even go above and beyond by checking in with victims months after an incident happens.
Also, if a Deputy Sheriff has a high call volume, volunteers will be able to fill in where they are needed. For example, volunteers will do vacation home checks, which is where deputies will check on homes for break-ins when residents are on vacation. These are considered high priority to the volunteers.
The vacation home checks have been 100% successful after a recent survey revealed that 0 crimes were reported at those homes that were on vacation, according to Scroggin.
Dozens of volunteers and explorers will also help at local events when Deputies can’t be there. Volunteers attending events will benefit the Sheriff’s Department financially because they won’t need to pay multiple Deputies to be there. Scroggin said that they couldn’t have staffed a recent event without their volunteers. “We couldn’t do the job without them,” he added.
You can also see volunteers at the Walnut-Diamond Bar Sheriff’s Department front desk. They will usually be the ones greeting those in the lobby. Make sure to say hi to their oldest volunteer, who is 90 years old.
“There are jobs for everyone,” said Scroggin. Volunteers can consist of anyone from an intern to a patrol officer driving in a white car. In addition, working as a volunteer has many benefits. Three volunteer interns recently became Deputies.
Signing up to be a volunteer is easy. You can obtain an application at the Walnut-Diamond Bar Sheriff’s Department and turn it in to Deputy Saldeke. The only requirements are that you have to be at least 18, obtain a background check, and be briefly interviewed.
“This is an opportunity for the community to be a part of our team,” said Scroggin. “Volunteers are a big part of who we are and our department.”
If a resident under 18 wants to volunteer, they can sign up for the Explorer Program, which caters to ages 14-21.
“My niece participated in the Explorer Program,” said Sheriff Booster Club member Michael Armijo. “It really benefited her; it taught her about the consequences when teenagers don’t have guidance in their lives. It also gave her the guidance and structure she needed, and it gave her an interest in law enforcement.”
Armijo also talked about his friend’s son who joined the program. “It provided structure for him, especially since his father was away in the National Guard, serving our country in a foreign land.”
Don’t wait; sign up to be a volunteer or explorer today! “The more people who we have to volunteer, the more transparent the department is,” said Scroggin. “Volunteers give us ability to provide extra eyes and ears in the community.”