Ventura, CA. – During National Volunteer Week, happening April 16 – 22, 2023, the Ventura Police Department will honor 36 community members and 20 teen explorers who volunteer their time to serve local needs.
“This week offers a unique opportunity to recognize the immense impact volunteers have with our staff and the power they have to help build a stronger community,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. “The work done by our volunteers and explorers contributes to the safety of our city and the success of our department. We are so thankful for their service.”
This year, the Ventura Police Department celebrates Stephanie Bower as the Volunteer of the Year, and Lillana Gutierrez as the Explorer of the Year.
Stephanie Bower, an Investigative Assistant with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, has been a volunteer since 2016, primarily supporting our K9 Unit events and keeping the Pacific View Mall storefront stocked with supplies and necessities for officers.
“Lillana Gutierrez was part of the first cohort to join our new Explorer Program and earned this award based one her dependability, positive attitude, perfect attendance, and her many contributions to the team,” said Explorer Advisor Corporal Chris Bridges. “Lillana has consistently gone above and beyond and is absolutely deserving of this award.”
The Volunteer Program has been in place since 2000, with the Explorer Program launched in 2021. All volunteers and explorers complete an application and interview process, background check, and training prior to engaging in Department-related activities.
The Ventura Police Department is currently accepting volunteer applications. To learn more about volunteer opportunities and apply, visit www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/PoliceVolunteers.
Volunteer of the Year Stephanie Bower, Volunteer Lyssa Colitti, Police Chief Darin Schindler
Explorer of the Year Lillana Gutierrez