Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) — New crime fighters are hitting the streets of Stockton starting on Monday, and they’re working for free to help make a difference in this city under fire.
About 50 people applied for the Sentinel program, with 16 making the cut and hitting the streets after their Monday graduation.
Instead of complaining about the city’s crime problems, this mother of three and daycare owner is becoming part of the solution.
“Not very many people are willing to do something about it, and there’s a small group that are,” said Jaclyn Salwolke.
She’s one of 16 Stockton Police Department Sentinels. The new volunteer program allows people who fall between the junior cadet and senior programs to help fight crime.
“We are trying to be as visible as possible, show people that we are out there.”
Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones started the group after community members came forward wanting to help the cash-strapped department.
“Policing has changed, we really rely on volunteers more, more than we ever have in law enforcement before.”
The group of unarmed men and women will patrol neighborhoods, take reports, and that’s not all.
“They will help with traffic control, minor calls,” Jones said. “They can help police officers by freeing them up to do some things.”
Jaclyn is ready for the challenge. Her children are thrilled she’s working with the good guys.
“They are excited Mom is going to help out.”
The chief hopes to refine the program, and possibly add a few more volunteers.
The program is expected to only cost a few thousand dollars a year for fuel and car maintenance.