AN URGENT call has gone out to local residents to help keep the region safe through a strong Volunteering in Policing (VIP) presence.
A drastic shortage in VIP numbers has prompted the plea by Gladstone District Crime Prevention co-ordinator Senior Constable Gwen Mills.
Local VIP numbers have dwindled in recent years, with only two volunteers now involved in the community program.
Gladstone and Boyne Island-Tannum Sands are represented by a VIP presence but Snr Const Mills would like to see more of the region covered under the program.
"This is the leanest VIP numbers we have had," Snr Const Mills said.
"We urgently need more VIPs. Eight would be great.
"They play a very important role in assisting with preventative strategies in the community."
VIPs work with police to address customer service, community safety and crime prevention needs in the community.
To become a VIP you must be aged 18 years or over and willing to take part in a mandatory training program.
Volunteers will be subject to a national criminal history check, and must be prepared to participate in the VIP program for at least one year. Volunteers must also be willing to work a minimum of four and maximum of 16 hours per week.