SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

Beginning Tuesday, the Springfield Police Department has a Motorist Assist Program (MAP) staffed by volunteers.  MAP's mission is for trained volunteers to make contact with stranded motorists whose vehicles have become immobile on the streets of Springfield.

The volunteers will use the MAP vehicle to provide stranded motorists with cover and alert other motorists to use caution while driving past the stalled vehicle until it can be safely removed from the roadway.

The MAP vehicle is a white, unmarked police car equipped with amber overhead lights and door magnets that identify it as part of MAP.

All MAP volunteers undergo a background check and program training provided by the SPD.  On-duty volunteers receive a two-way radio, and police and dispatchers are able to see if a MAP volunteer is available in the event that they find someone with a stalled vehicle along a road.

The police department developed the program to render aid to citizens of Springfield and to allow officers to remain available for law enforcement duties and to respond to other calls for service.  It is part of the SPD’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program, which strives to build a better community through partnership.

Citizens interested in joining MAP or getting involved in other volunteer opportunities can call (417) 864-1351 or visit the volunteer page on the SPD website.