VIPS Keeping Neighborhoods Safe And Saving Taxpayers Money

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Some central Ohio taxpayers are saving money and perhaps sleeping a little more safely thanks to the dedicated work of some volunteers.

The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) at the Hardin County Sheriff's office have donated thousands of hours, according to the sheriff's office, with the goal of helping protect their community.

"There's always something to keep us busy," said Dick Hubbard, VIPS coordinator.

The group of sixteen volunteers consists of mostly retired and semi-retired individuals.

"I found out with retirement, you have to have something to do," said Mike Shuster, VIPS assistant coordinator.

What these sworn-in civil deputies do is everything from house checks to transportation to fingerprinting.

The group includes some former educators who even tutor drug recovery court participants who are studying for their GED.

"We think that we're doing something useful," said Hubbard.

"It's one of those things where you can contribute to your community," Shuster added.

Sheriff Keith Everhart says their work frees up his deputies to do more police work.

"This group is a phenomenal group," Everhart said. "They jump at anything I suggest or ask of them."

Everhart says together the volunteers easily put in more than 2,600 hours in 2013-more than what a full-time employee would work.

"At a minimum, they're saving Hardin County $30,000," he said.

It's all done in a way that makes these VIPS very important people for Hardin County.