Community Safety Volunteers of Douglas County looking for a few good men and women
Community Safety Volunteer Walt Wohlgemuth (right) works closely with Deputy Charlie Curry (left), who patrols the Castle Pines district. “I love what Walt and his guys do,” praised Curry. “They are an invaluable part of what we do every day. Their assistance really frees up our time to do our patrol duties.”
Article and photo by Amy Shanahan
While most of us in the Castle Pines community are going about our days, there is a group of involved citizens who make it their priority to help ensure our safety by supporting the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO). These invaluable civilian volunteers spend countless hours each month supporting the DCSO behind the scenes and on the road.
Known as the Community Safety Volunteers (CSV), the group was started in 2006 by Walt Wohlgemuth, a retired partner with Ernst and Young, who lives in Castle Pines. Wohlgemuth had been a part of a similar program when he lived in Ohio, and he recognized a need when he moved to Colorado.
Many CSVs support the DCSO by working behind the scenes in the detentions division and in the investigations division by doing clerical work and assisting in various capacities. However, the most visible of the volunteers are those who spend many hours driving around Douglas County in marked cars, assisting with many of the duties that do not require sworn officers.
Wohlgemuth and the other CSVs who work in patrol spend an average of forty hours per month assisting the DCSO by handling things like traffic control, house watches, VIN verifications, and school patrols. According to Wohlgemuth, “We free up the deputies to work on serious matters. We consider ourselves the eyes and ears on the road.”
The CSVs on patrol drive marked cars which closely resemble DCSO vehicles. They are intentionally different, but their similarities cause drivers on the road to slow down, make complete stops, and they act as a deterrent for criminal behavior. CSVs additionally do stationary radar to catch drivers who are speeding, they write parking tickets, and they are on the same radio channels and use the same computer system as the deputies they support.
“Safety is our most important objective,” stated Wohlgemuth. For this reason, CSVs go through extensive training for ten weeks at the training academy. They undergo complete background checks including lie detector tests and fingerprinting, and they spend 1,000 hours in the field with training officers prior to patrolling on their own. This very serious commitment also requires them to re-certify annually and undergo continuing education.
Wohlgemuth would like to see more residents from the Castle Pines community take part in this program. “It’s a great program for retirees,” remarked Wohlgemuth. “It allows us to stay active and stay involved in our community. We as citizens are ultimately responsible for our own safety and security, and the service this role provides greatly helps our sworn officers.”
To learn more about this program or to fill out an application, please visit www.DCSheriff.net.