TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - At first glance, they may look like a normal police squad car but it's actually one of the volunteer squad cars.
The Dundee Police Department says their Volunteers in Police Service Program is a vital part of their department.
"They're our eyes and ears when they're out on patrol for us," said Randy Sehl, Sgt. Village of Dundee Police Department. "Just a really big help."
The VIPS program is a national program police departments are using to strengthen their force. Dundee is one of several departments in Michigan taking advantage of citizen volunteers.
"Especially in challenging budget times, they can do things such as checking on our vehicles for us, taking them to the shop, running errands for us, doing administrative tasks. Freeing us up to do other police work," Sehl said.
Among the volunteers is John Bartko, a retired Sylvania Police Officer.
"I love this place," Bartko said. "This is my way of giving back to this community."
John said members are given training before they go out on patrol. They can only report what they see. They can't make arrests or give tickets.
"We do house checks, vacation checks," Bartko said. "This list goes on and on."
Sgt. Sehl said they act as ambassadors for the department.
"They're here to help us. Right now trying to help us with public and police relations," Sehl said. "It's just an awesome way to do that to help the community stay safe."
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer for the Village of Dundee's VIPS program you can contact the police department here.