Oakland County, Michigan/Homeland Security/Citizen Corps Program (CCP) / Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs in Oakland County

Citizen Corps Program (CCP) / Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs in Oakland County

Oakland County partners and liaisons with local community programs and is a major contributor to Citizen Corps framework with CERT being one of the foundational programs. 

As indicated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Citizen Corps Program is a collaborative framework that brings together local communities, citizen volunteers, and a network of first-responder organizations. The organizations involved in Citizen Corps Programs are local fire and police departments, county health departments, and community neighborhood associations. The Citizen Corps Partner Programs consist of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); Fire Corps; Medical Reserve Corps; Neighborhood Watch; and Volunteers in Police Service. One of the goals of the Citizen Corps framework is to pair interested volunteers with organizations in need of support. A summary of the Citizen Corps programs is included in this webpage. Also, you can review the list of our Oakland County communities with Citizen Corps Programs at the bottom.

Additional information on the Citizen Corps Program is available at: www.ready.gov/citizen-corps

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates individuals about disaster preparedness for incidents that may impact their area and trains them in basic response skills. CERT volunteers are a valuable asset to their community. Team members may be called upon to assist their community following a large disaster when emergency responders are not immediately available or they may also be called upon to assist with routine incidents such as parades, searching for lost individuals, safety assistance at down power lines, or perimeter control around a neighborhood after a severe weather event.

Studies of behavior following disasters have shown that groups working together perform more effectively if there has been prior training and planning. CERT training is designed to prepare you to help yourself and others in the event of a disaster. The Oakland County Homeland Security Division strongly supports Citizen Corps Programs throughout the County and region through training, planning, coordination, and equipment.

We challenge our residents to better prepare their neighborhoods and place of business for emergency or disaster situations. During a major critical incident, emergency responders and resources will be limited. We encourage all community members to be prepared as they may need to rely on their own resources for food, water, shelter, and first aid for at least three days following a disaster.

Additional information on CERT is available at: www.citizencorps.gov/cert

Fire Corps

Fire Corps is supported by FEMA and the National Fire Council to build the capacity of fire departments by connecting them to community volunteers who can assist in non-emergency roles. Engaging citizen volunteers greatly enhances the services they can offer.

Additional information on the Fire Corps is available at:  www.firecorps.org

Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps is administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services with the goal of engaging volunteers to strengthen public health, emergency response, and community resiliency. Volunteer healthcare professionals may be called upon to assist during large scale events.

Additional information is available at:  www.medicalreservecorps.gov

National – Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is administered by the National Sheriff’s Association and supported by the Department of Justice. Neighborhood Watch unites law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in an effort to reduce crime and improve communities. Neighborhood Watch enables residents to a play a role in safety and security through personal responsibility, information and training, and volunteer service. Neighborhood Watch groups are provided the tools to assist with crime prevention efforts, networking crime and suspicious activity information, and proper reporting techniques.

Additional information is available at:  www.nnw.org

Volunteers in Police Service

The Volunteers in Police Service Program is administered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and supported by the Department of Justice. The program provides for training and resources for volunteers to support law enforcement by performing administrative and support functions. This effort allows professional law enforcement officials to focus their energy and resources on prevention and protection functions.

Additional information is available at: www.iacp.org/VIPS

Programs and Training 

Citizen Corps Programs are critical in the effort to make communities more prepared and resilient when incidents occur. We, in groups and as individuals, can prepare our homes and workplace to cope with these critical times. Each community or program can customize their training and planning needs based upon their threats, environment, and resources. 

Oakland County is fortunate to have numerous local leaders that support our communities with active and well trained Citizen Corps/CERT Teams. Our philosophy focuses on training, collaboration, and building of relationships with local cities, villages, and townships that establish and manage their own programs for county-wide service. We intend for our citizens to be better prepared to manage critical incidents such as severe weather, flooding, major power outage, fire, hazardous material incidents, and incidents or terrorism.

Trained and informed citizens will be better able to help themselves, their families, neighbors and co-workers in the event of a disaster that slows, hinders or overwhelms normal response capability. These citizens may also help prevent a terrorist attack or criminal act by watching for and reporting suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity.

Basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training involves an 8 module, 20 hour course of instruction and practical exercise. For more background and course curriculum information concerning Community Emergency Response Team training please refer to the following website: www.citizencorps.gov/cert

The Oakland County Homeland Security Division is actively engaged with our local teams and very familiar with their operations, events, and activities. We have found that many volunteers select programs based upon the type of activities the team participates in, the level of training offered, the geographic location, and frequency of volunteerism. We will be glad to assist you with finding a finding a Citizen Corps program that fits your interest.

If you are interested in further information regarding Citizen Corps Programs in Oakland County please contact Mike Kuzila of the Oakland County Homeland Security Division at 248.858.1598 or kuzilam@oakgov.com.

Oakland County communities with active Citizen Corps programs:

​Community Emergency Response Teams​Volunteers in Police Services​Neighborhood Watch Programs
Brandon Township
David Kwapis
(248) 627-4000

Oakland County Sheriff's Office
Mike Suarez
(248) 858-1664
City of ​Hazel Park
Brian Forrester
(248) 542-6161 Ext. 254
Holly Township
Karin Winchester
(248) 634-9331 ext. 301

​City of Royal Oak
Al Carter
(248) 246-3528
City of ​Novi
Ray Garbarino
(248) 347-0556
Ferndale/Pleasant Ridge
Kevin Sullivan
(248) 546-2510

Sylvan Lake
Mike Mondeau
(248) 682-1440
City of ​Pontiac
Andre Ewing
(248) 409-7103
City of Novi
Ray Garbarino
(248) 347-0556

​Waterford Township
William Dolehanty
(248) 618-6057
​City of Royal Oak
Mike Frasier
(248) 246-3502
City of Rochester
John Shepp
(248) 651-4470

City of Southfield
Mark Malott
(248) 796-5415
City of Rochester Hills
David See
(248) 537-3530
​Waterford Township
William Dolehanty
(248) 618-6057
City of Southfield
William Johns
(248) 796-5992

If you are interested in becoming a member of a Citizen Corps Team in Oakland County, please complete theCitizen Corps Program Member Application. The completed application can be scanned then emailed to kuzilam@oakgov.com, faxed to 248.858.5550 or mailed to:

Oakland County Homeland Security Division
1200 North Telegraph Road, Building 47W
Pontiac, Michigan, USA 48341-0410

Applicants may be asked to submit to a background check.

The County of Oakland does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission of access to its programs, activities or services as required by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Please contact us within five (5) business days prior to the event if you have any special needs.

Revised 5/13/16