POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– The Polk County Sheriff’s Office will be partnering with the creators of Bonnet Springs Park to help provide a safe environment for park guests. Citizens Assisted Patrol (CAP), the Sheriff’s Office program will operate in the park with it opens in October of 2022.

There are currently 65 active Citizens Assisted Programs with 2,500 volunteers operating in Polk County. In total, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has over 3,200 volunteers.

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CAP is a volunteer patrol / customer service program where citizens patrol their neighborhoods, parks, recreational trails, and other designated areas in order to prevent and deter crime. This is done through active visible patrols using marked patrol vehicles, including cars, trucks, golf carts, and utility vehicles. Polk County CAP volunteers donated 79,115 hours to the program in 2021.

“We are so excited about this beautiful new park close to Lake Bonnet and downtown Lakeland, and we’re even more excited to be able to help patrol the area with PCSO volunteers. We have thousands of volunteers who help prevent crime within their neighborhoods, public spaces, and trail systems in Polk County. The Bonnet Springs Park CAP patrol will be a great addition to the program that we hope will result in even more opportunities to bring people together and keep the park a safe and enjoyable place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

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The Bonnet Springs Park will be patrolled by PCSO CAP volunteers during regular park hours using marked 4-seat electric utility task vehicles. Volunteers will work varied shifts between sunrise and sunset, providing a visible and active patrol of the park. Bonnet Springs CAP volunteers will be trained in patrol, observation, and crime prevention techniques specific to the needs of the park. They will have direct communication with park staff and local law enforcement. Members will wear uniforms provided by the Sheriff’s Office. Volunteers will also serve as good-will ambassadors for Bonnet Springs Park.

“Sheriff Judd and the PCSO have been generous supporters of Bonnet Springs park. We are excited to further enhance our partnership with Sheriff Judd and his team as they provide the Citizen’s Assisted Patrol program for our park guests. Living up to our park’s mission of enriching our community through nature, culture, recreation, and education, the CAP program will bring together a wide variety of dedicated volunteers and ensure that the guest experience at Bonnet Springs park will be among the best in the nation.” — Josh Henderson, CEO Bonnet Springs Park

Bonnet Springs Park is a blended urban/natural 168-acre park located just outside of downtown Lakeland and is slated to open on October 22, 2022. Click here for more information about this new beautiful park.

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Click here for more information about Polk County Sheriff’s Office volunteer programs.