BUCKHANNON — The local Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) unit concluded the year with over 1,515 volunteer hours, translating to almost 64 days of constant service in Buckhannon.
VIPS Coordinator Steve Wycoff and Buckhannon Police Chief Matthew Gregory phoned in to Thursday’s City Council meeting to honor and thank all 15 VIPS members, as well as to congratulate six of the outstanding volunteers who earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.
Based on the number of hours each member of VIPS volunteered, this award was given to: Steve Wycoff (396.5 hours), Vito Syski (213.5 hours), Jewel Fisher (143 hours), David Rowan (156 hours), Evelyn Syski (196.5 hours) and Andi Cartier (141 hours). These combined hours saved the City of Buckhannon an estimated $35,000 in labor.
In addition to these exemplary members, certificates of appreciation from the City of Buckhannon were also awarded to: Anita Coleman, Scott Coleman, Linda Coleman, Paul Coleman, Brittney Wood, Morgan Cox, Sydney McDonald, Allen Nash and Joe Dillon.
Due to COVID-19, the VIPS were only able to complete about half of the service hours they were able to contribute in 2019, but still managed to go on duty at 79 different events throughout the year. A total of 63 events that VIPS normally assists with were cancelled this year, and 27 events they attended were public health related. VIPS provided traffic control, foot patrol, and enhanced public relations between the city’s officers and the community.
VIPS play an essential role in the city, as well as to the Buckhannon Police Department. Chief Gregory expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the members and their service. He expressed, “You all are an invaluable asset, not just to the police department, but to the entire community. You truly go above and beyond in all that you so freely give.”