How to Apply

The Howard County Police Department Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS) is an opportunity to actively participate in making Howard County a safer place to live and work.

HCPD volunteers offer their talents, skills and abilities to support the services police provide to the community. Prospective volunteers are matched with identified needs in the police department. Opportunities vary, and may include clerical/office support, citizen services, and crime prevention. HCPD also offers unpaid internship opportunities; please see below for more information.

Volunteer Application

Minimum participation requirements:

  • Complete application and agreement form
  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • In good physical health
  • Pass a police background check


The Howard County Police Department runs unpaid internships for college credit-seeking students every spring, summer and fall. The program runs on a three month rotation through different divisions of the Department. The program is designed to give qualified students information regarding law enforcement careers. Students observe and participate in a variety of police department activities.


We are not currently accepting applications. Check back in the spring for summer 2021 opportunities.


Questions? Contact Jillian Hershberger at 410-313-3740 or jhershberger@howardcountymd.gov

Auxiliary Officer Program

The police auxiliary program is an intense, demanding volunteer assignment requiring a commitment of at least 16 hours of service each month, including one special event. The program is a cost-effective method designed to increase the efficiency of the patrol officer while maintaining the departmental standard of high quality, timely public service.

The auxiliary officer performs a wide variety of support services to both the police officer on the street and the citizens of the county. Many of the auxiliary officers have received official commendations recognizing their dedication to duty and the quality of the services they provide. Selected candidates receive free uniforms, professional training and specialized equipment.

Auxiliary officers perform a wide range of duties, including directing traffic, identifying and processing abandoned vehicles, retrieving and storing recovered property, investigating roadway hazards, performing home security surveys, patrolling senior citizen residential complexes, perform courier duties, handling vehicle lockouts, assisting at DWI Sobriety Checkpoints, supplementing the school crossing guard program, issuing parking tickets for handicapped and fire lane parking violations and other non-emergency activities. For more information on becoming an auxiliary officer, contact Jillian Hershberger at 410-313-3740 or jhershberger@howardcountymd.gov.

We are not currently accepting applications. Please check back in mid-2021.

Volunteer Mounted Patrol Program

Comprised of local volunteers and their horses, members of the Volunteer Mounted Patrol travel parks, pathways and other designated locations by horse as a high-visibility deterrent to crime. They serve as a resource to the public, providing information to citizens, and watching for and reporting violations and concerns. Volunteers assist in investigative, administrative and community service functions and events. Although they have no enforcement powers, the unit members serve as some of the "eyes and ears" of the police department. For more information, call 410-313-2255.

We currently are not accepting applications for Volunteer Mounted Patrol. Please check back soon!