Skip to main content

ASU Police Department volunteers earn career experience

December 21, 2009

ASU Police Department volunteers can earn career experience and provide an invaluable service to the community simply by giving their time.

ASU Assistant Police Chief Jay Spradling started the department’s volunteer program earlier this year after working on a similar effort for the City of Tempe

“I approached Chief (John) Pickens with the idea and it was something he has wanted to do for some time,” Spradling said. “Our volunteers not only donate their time, but they help make the campus community a safer place by supplementing police efforts,” Pickens said. 

Among the volunteers who are working for the ASU Police Department are students, retirees and citizens who enjoy giving back to the community.

“I have two student volunteers that are getting good resume experience for their chosen career paths. We treat volunteers just like paid staff, so they get evaluations, commendations, etc.,” Spradling says. “It’s a very good opportunity for someone just starting out or even those considering a career change.” 

Volunteer jobs that are available run the gamut from cataloging evidence to handling some of the paperwork that the department processes.

“We have job descriptions in about every area of the police department.  If you don’t see a job you are interested in, let us know and we will write one up for something that you are interested in,” Spradling says. “I firmly believe that there is no area of the police department that is off limits.” 

Courtney Murch is an ASU student who wanted to become involved in a victim’s assistance program when she signed up for volunteer duties at the ASU Police Department. The senior, who is majoring in social and behavioral sciences, is currently in the process of developing a victim’s assistance program that will aid students who have been contacted by the police department.

“Everybody’s really supportive about getting this program started,” Murch said. “It’s open to anyone who is generally interested in helping people.”

Doris Cornett, a retired school principal, serves as the volunteer coordinator for the police department’s program. She has extensive knowledge of police work after serving as a volunteer for the Tempe Police Department for the past 20 years. She started Tempe’s victim assistance program (CARE 7) after a teacher she worked with was notified that her husband had suddenly died. The teacher, who was left with two small children, didn’t know where to turn.

“When I retired, I went to the Tempe Police and said, ‘Do you need me?’ I worked victim’s assistance with them,” she said. 

Now Cornett enjoys working with ASU Police officials who are always appreciative of her efforts and those of fellow volunteers. 

“I really enjoy the appreciation and feedback,” Cornett said. “I enjoy working with the police community and the camaraderie.”

Elecktra Fike-Data is a senior criminology and psychology double major who is gaining valuable career experience by working with the police department in crime analysis, records, background checks and public information requests. 

“The first thing that really struck me was the people and (working with) Jay Spradling. He’s very positive and is a great role model,” Fike-Data said. 

Volunteer opportunities are open to members of the ASU community and other citizens who would like to become involved. All candidates go through a background check and a polygraph test before they start working for the department.

“That way there is some inherent trust the day they walk in the door,” Spradling says.

People who are interested in volunteering can fill out an application at or send an email to Questions may be addressed to Jody Patterson at (480) 965-0771 or Assistant Chief Jay Spradling at (480) 965-7747.