Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS)

The Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) program is a partnership between the Buckhannon City Police Department (BPD), the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), the Upshur County Citizen Corps Council (CCC), and the Upshur County Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). The BPD recognized the opportunity to recruit local citizens to assist the police department during larger scale events. They approached the above organizations with the idea citizens could serve as an informational extension of the police department.

Members of the VIPS program are First Responders and have been trained in First Aid, CPR, basic search and rescue, basic firefighting, traffic and crowd management, and basic disaster response. VIPS members assist the police department with such tasks as public relations, search and rescue, disaster response, investigations, traffic management, and crowd assistance during community events. While VIPS members are performing these tasks, the BPD officers will be free to focus on more department specific tasks, such as criminal investigations and protecting our community. A complete list of member training can be found here.

If you are interested in having VIPS at your next event, please download and complete our Service Request Form located here.

If you would like more information about our VIPS program, click here to download a brochure.

If you are interested in becoming a member of VIPS, download the application here and return it to the police department.

Must be willing to help the community

Must be willing to meet new poeple

Must be interested in working closely with law enforcement

Must be willing to wear a cool uniform and hat

Must be over the age of 18

Must be willing to undergo background check

VIPS Annual Reports
Listed below are links for the annual Buckhannon Police Department Crime Statistics Reports. You may click on the link to view the annual report from that year.

For reports prior to 2017, email the VIPS Coordinator

All reports are saved in PDF format. You will need a PDF viewer to read the reports. Adobe Reader is available here.  
VIPS Annual Report


VIPS Annual Report


VIPS Annual Report


VIPS Annual Report


VIPS Annual Report


VIPS Members

Steve Wykoff
Coordinator Steve Wykoff
Steve volunteers as the Coordinator for the VIPS program with the Buckhannon Police department when not working as the Health, Safety, and Environment Manager for a local steel erection company; or as the Upshur County Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  Steve is one of three founding members still active with the organization.

Steve holds numerous certifications in the health and safety field, and in the emergency management field. He is also an instructor for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and the only CERT instructor trainer in Upshur County. In addition to teaching various CERT classes, he also teaches American Heart Association First Aid / CPR / AED courses, Stop The Bleed (STB) courses, and several FEMA courses. Steve has been actively involved in the community and volunteered with various other emergency services such as the Upshur County Emergency Squad (EMT, 1992-2004), American Red Cross (1995-2006), Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (2008-current), American Heart Association (2019 – current), as well as youth organizations such as Upshur County Little League (2008-2011) and Upshur County Flag Football (2008).

In October 2018, Steve was honored as a Jefferson Award recipient for his community service with the VIPS program. Founded in 1972, The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization that "recognizes, inspires and activates volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America."
Jewel Fisher
Asst Coordinator Jewel Fisher
Jewel is a lifelong resident of Upshur County. She currently holds the position of Assistant Coordinator within VIPS, and is one of three founding members still active with the organization.

Jewel is very community service minded, and joined VIPS to give back to the community she loves. In addition to volunteering with VIPS, Jewel is a member of Good Hope Tabernacle Church, Buckhannon Professional Women’s Club, and serves as secretary for Buckhannon Chapter #18 Order of the Eastern Star. Jewel has a strong history in emergency services, previously working as a 911 telecommunicator, and as an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the Upshur County Emergency Squad. She also worked for the Record Delta until recently.

Jewel comes from a large family, having six siblings and many nieces and nephews. When not volunteering with VIPS, Jewel enjoys crocheting, reading, and cooking for family and friends.

David Rowan
Asst Coordinator David Rowan
David is a lifelong resident of Upshur County and one of three founding members still active with VIPS. He joined VIPS to gain further insight into the inner workings of police department after becoming interested in law enforcement by watching crime drama television shows.

David is currently the only VIPS member to receive the Meritorious Service award from Chief of Police Matt Gregory. David was instrumental in identifying a wanted felon who fled to Buckhannon from out of state, which led to the felon’s arrest and subsequent extradition.

In his spare time, David continues to help the community by volunteering at the Parish House daily as he has since 2005. You will also see David walking around town with his dog, Foxie.
Allen Nash
Task Supervisor Allen Nash
Allen moved to the Buckhannon area in 1996. He served as a coach and referee for several youth sports over nine years. After 32 years of service as a government employee, Allen retired in 2015. Allen now stays busy by volunteering with the Upshur County Public Library, Buckhannon Nature Park & Learning Trail, American Red Cross Disaster Services, and VIPS.

In January 2021 he was selected by the City of Buckhannon as a recipient of the Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial (BEST) Award for his dedication and service to our community. Recently Allen assisted the American Red Cross in the Hurricane Laura disaster response in Texas and Louisiana.
Evelyn Syski
Evelyn Syski
Evelyn lived in Baltimore, MD for 68 years prior to settling in Buckhannon. Currently she volunteers with the VIPS. This program piqued her interest as her brother is a retired police officer from Baltimore City and she has a high respect for the work of the police department.

She is an active member of Create Buckhannon, attends City Council meetings, and is active in her church. She also volunteers at the Buckhannon Senior Center by calling "Bingorobics" (a combination of bingo and aerobics) for seniors.

Prior to moving to Buckhannon, Evelyn had a 36-year career with the federal government. Volunteering has been an active part of her life by serving through the years as: a Board Member on the Elvaton Towne Condominium Association; Chairman of the Pack Committee for Cub Scouts; and as a lay therapist for the Prevention of Child Abuse for the State of Maryland. Evelyn also volunteered as a financial councilor for her church, served/volunteered with the Combined Federal Campaign, Muscular Dystrophy, and Cystic Fibrosis. She also taught English Second Language (ESL) in two facilities for two years. Prior to leaving Baltimore, Evelyn worked part time as an Activity Specialist at both Arbutus and Lansdowne Senior Centers as well as coordinating their lunch programs.
Andi Cartier
Andi Cartier
Andi is a Volunteer Recovery/Life Coach and Recovery Coach Professional with Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment (GRaCE)-Blue Ridge Resource Center (BRRC). Andi completed her BA in Psychology at Quincy College in IL in 1982, and her MA and doctoral coursework in Psychology at the University of Nevada-Reno in 1987.

During graduate school, Andi served as a Volunteer, Trainer and Speaker Bureau member for a Crisis Call Center and its Sexual Assault Response Team; she also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Summer Instructor and Mental Health Tech. Andi then began a 27-year career working with a private contractor for the USDOL Job Corps program, starting in Counseling and Student Services at Job Corps Centers in NV, WV and MD. In 1994 Andi moved on to Corporate responsibilities for what became 15 Job Corps Centers operated by her employer for the USDOL. Responsibilities included: developing responses to requests for contract proposals and programming to meet new initiatives; overseeing contract and programming implementation and maintenance; and assuring integrity in student records and contract performance data.

In 2014 left her 27-year Job Corps career to return to WV, live with her mom and see what was next. She soon found outlets for continuing to learn, grow and serve with Buckhannon’s Celebrate Recovery, where she continues to serve. In 2018 Andi added the WV Leadership Academy (WVLA), AmeriCorps VISTA, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)-Adult and the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy to her learning and growing experiences, while serving at Opportunity House Inc. In 2019, Andi moved on to the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) as a Peer Specialist for the Drop-In Center in Buckhannon and as a Peer Group Facilitator. In 2019 Andi also completed the Buckhannon ‘Citizen Police Academy’ and basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS), and she continues to serve with the Buckhannon Police Department. In 2020, Andi completed the WVLA’s Facilitator Training (“TTT”). In 2021, Andi completed the Buckhannon Leadership Academy, as well as the Recovery/Life Coach and Recovery Coach Professional trainings with Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment (GRaCE)/Blue Ridge Resource Center (BRRC), where she now serves as a volunteer Advocate, Community Recovery/Life Coach and a Recovery Coach Professional for Drug Court participants. Andi identifies as a person in long-term recovery from multiple addictions and mental health challenges, including acute and complex PTSD.  
Vito Syski
Vito Syski
Vito is a second-generation immigrant to the United States and a naturalized American citizen. He is proud to have received a commendation for good citizenship from the governor of Maryland. Prior to moving to Buckhannon, he spent many years in the Indexing Section of the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD as a contractor until his contract ended in 2016, at which time he decided to retire and move to West Virginia with his wife.

Vito holds a B.A. degree in music from the University of Maryland, College Park. His volunteer activities reflect his desire to give back to the community for the privileges he has enjoyed in a free country. Vito regularly attends Create Buckhannon and Buckhannon City Council meetings, is active in his local church, and a pianist with the Buckhannon Chamber Orchestra.In Maryland, he volunteered with the Maryland Food Bank and was a choral singer in a Bethesda, MD church choir for 28 years.

One of his interests is crime prevention and investigation, and watching crime shows on TV. The VIPS program assists the Police Department, freeing them to focus on law enforcement. With his respect for the police force, and the goals of VIPS, the program was an immediate match.
Brittney Wood - 508
Brittney Wood
Brittney, a life-long resident of Upshur County is a 2012 graduate of Buckhannon Upshur High School and is a member of Faith Tabernacle Church. She is currently taking online classes through Southern New Hampshire University to receive her Bachelors degree in Health Administration.

When not assisting VIPS or working at the Upshur County 911 Center as a dispatcher she enjoys raising her two girls, singing, spending time with family and friends and giving back to her community through various organizations.

Buckhannon Public
Safety Complex
24 South Florida Street
Buckhannon WV 26201