Andeen: volunteering with the Paradise Valley Police Department, join us!

I love serving our town as a Paradise Valley Police Volunteer.

Ellen Andeen

The experiences are rewarding and the friendships long-lasting. And, I feel great about doing something good for our town residents and the police department.

And, volunteering is an exciting diversion from my day job as a senior account executive in the financial services industry. When the Chair of ACOPS Julie Pace asked me to share my experiences about volunteering with the police and invite others to join, I welcomed the opportunity.

Growing up in the Town of Paradise Valley, my parents instilled in me the spirit of service at a young age. My parents were shining examples of community service.

Starting in the ‘70s, my mom, Anne Andeen, lobbied to get fire hydrants installed where our town did not have fire hydrants. Our town had a few large fires that required our pools to be drained for water to fight fires. My mom set the goal and worked with residents and the problem was solved.

My mom continued to be involved and served on the Board of Adjustment, and now she proudly serves on our Historical Committee to preserve and celebrate our town’s history.

My Father, Richard Andeen, was a Honeywell executive and aerospace engineer in the Valley, but he also found time to serve. My Dad fought hard to support mountain preservation. He served on the town council in the ‘80s.

My focus for volunteerism with the town has been with the police.

When I was young, I made a commitment to myself that I would repay the police with my time for their good works of offering services and safety to my family and our community. We saw them in action and valued how much the police made a difference in our lives.

I decided in 2013 to become a police volunteer.

So, what does it mean to be a police volunteer? As a volunteer, we patrol the streets of Paradise Valley, assist officers as requested, help with administrative work at the station, conduct vacation checks on resident homes, direct traffic, and assist with special events. We obviously are a “presence” in Town by driving in patrol cars on our many roads.

I have met so many wonderful Paradise Valley residents and really have been able to make a difference in our community. Our volunteer team comprises such a wonderful group of individuals from various backgrounds. Patrolling the streets with them, always two to a car, allows me to receive great coaching, counseling and timely advice for me too.

When my father was dying last year, I knew I could reach out to any one of my fellow volunteers and they would be there for me and my family in a heartbeat. We are a team and we operate within a larger team and we have each other’s back, literally, sometimes.

It states on our town website under volunteer opportunities that “for more than 50 years the town has benefited from a high level of community involvement. This spirit of volunteerism has helped preserve the Town’s original mission to maintain a quiet residential community respectful of its natural desert surroundings, while at the same time guiding policy changes to address the needs of a changing demographic.”

Consider joining us. The police department needs a social media volunteer, and we can use more volunteers right now to help with vacation watch.

To be a police volunteer, it requires a commitment of 96 hours per year and volunteers go through a minimum of two mandatory full-day trainings per year to stay up-to-date and learn vital information and protocols.

Just go to the “Volunteer Page” under “Police Services” on the town website or contact Community Resource Officer Steve McGee at smcghee@paradisevalleyaz.gov or you can also reach out to me at ellen.andeen@gmail.com.

Thank you to all the volunteers in our town past & present!

We could not preserve the uniqueness of this town without the help of our community. We are so fortunate to live in such a paradise that is our Paradise Valley.

Editor’s note: Ms. Andeen is a candidate for Paradise Valley Town Council and proud police volunteer

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