The city is calling on residents, and non-residents alike, to volunteer their time to help run Hercules.
With a new citywide volunteer program in place, those looking to lend their time can help out in just about any city department and “create efficiencies for the departments and improve services to the community,” said a recent city manager's report.
The revised program comes at a time when city staff are working with minimal help due to heavy layoffs over the last year. “Volunteers will supplement and support the work of city employees. In addition, volunteers can bring new skills, expertise and enthusiasm to each Department,” read the announcement.
The program is a streamlined version of Hercules' previous volunteer setup. It will include a broader scope of volunteering possibilities and will be overseen by the Hercules Police Department.
“We’ll be the clearing house for the volunteers,” police Chief Bill Goswick said. After specifying which department they want to work for (Parks and Recreation, Finance and Police, etc.) applicants will be put through a background check by Hercules police. Once cleared, they will be directed to the department where they are most suited.
Goswick, who started his career as a volunteer firefighter in New York City, said potential volunteers are already showing interest. “I’m getting a lot of people…I get a lot of calls (about volunteering),” Goswick said.
Anyone wanting to volunteer at City Hall—in any department—can drop off a volunteer application at the police department.