The Covina Police Department honored its 2013 Volunteer of the Year this week, as well as a longtime volunteer chaplain and the department’s 25 other volunteers.
Rudy Fonseca was chosen as this year’s Volunteer of the Year Monday at the Covina Police Department’s annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at the Covina Playhouse, officials said. Also singled out for special recognition was longtime volunteer chaplain Dave Truax.
“Rudy Fonseca has been a member of the Covina Police Department volunteer team since 2010 and has donated over 1,400 hours,” Lt. John Curley said in a written statement. “Rudy also works with Covina Chamber of Commerce and the Soroptimist International groups.”
Truax has served as a volunteer police chaplain since 1990, Curley said. He served as a Covina City Council member from 1999 through 2003, and as mayor from 2001 to 2003.
“Chaplain Truax has assisted victims of violent crimes as well as police officer families, most notably members of the Hanson family when Sgt. Scott Hanson was the first-ever Covina police officer killed in the line of duty,” the lieutenant said.
Covina launched it’s police volunteer program in 1982, and has since taken part in activities ranging from child registry to graffiti removal.
“The estimated savings to the city over the past 21 years has been close to $1 million,” Curley added.
And the volunteers will be expanding their role in the coming year, he explained, as the department rolls out it’s Community Response to Eradicate and Deter Identity Theft (C.R.E.D.I.T.) Program.
Under the program, the volunteers will assist detectives looking into identity theft cases.
State law allows identity theft victims to report the crime in the cities in which they live, not necessarily where the crime occurred, officials said.
“Processing these reports has placed an extreme burden on many agencies,” Curley said.
“The newly-created Covina C.R.E.D.I.T. Program will utilize police volunteers who will research every case, starting with where the crimes occurred.
“They will then send the reports to the correct jurisdictions, freeing the detectives to only investigate cases that occurred within the Covina Police Department’s jurisdiction,” the lieutenant said.
The program is based on a similar program run by the Pasadena Police Department, which has had great success and the processing or investigation of more than 5,000 cases, police added.
Members of the C.R.E.D.I.T. Program will be civilian volunteers who are also graduates of the department’s Citizen’s Police Academy.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the Covina Police Department is encouraged to contact Community Services Specialist Candace Bobkiewicz at 626-384-5630.
PHOTOS: Rudy Fonseca (top); Dave Truax (below), flanked by Covina Police Chief Kim Raney and other police officials. (Courtesy of the Covina Police Department)