photos by Zeena Gregg Photography
Across the county’s zip codes, a group of citizens are serving as the eyes and ears of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD). Over 350 volunteers help to keep our communities safe as members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol or RSVP. 92130 volunteer Bobby Siegel has been serving the Carmel Country Highlands RSVP since January 2011.
Bobby’s 2,000+ hours of patrol include a variety of duties, from assisting patrol officers and patrolling neighborhoods to watching over vacation homes and performing You Are Not Alone checks on the elderly. “Police officers constantly thank me and my fellow volunteers for the services we provide. An important one is helping to direct traffic at crashes and other emergencies. This allows a police officer to be freed up from a scene to answer calls we do not handle,” Bobby explained.
Bobby, a resident of Carmel Valley Highlands, first learned of the volunteer program through a friend who thought he might be a good fit. “I have a vested interest in the Carmel Valley area, I am very observant and committed to the safety and well-being of the various neighborhoods in the northwest district of SDPD,” Bobby offered. Even though experience is not required to volunteer, Bobby’s prior experience as a police officer in Atlanta has served useful.
When not in uniform, Bobby is an avid road biker, cycling around North County and Orange County, a hobby he has had for thirty years. “When I saw dedicated bike lanes in San Diego, I knew I needed to live here,” he admitted. Bobby and his wife, Leslie, also appreciated the excellent school district when they moved to Carmel Valley sixteen years ago. Today, their two sons, Jeffrey and Alex, are both in college. Jeffrey is a senior at Georgia Tech, and Alex attends Chapman University, where he plays lacrosse for their nationally ranked team.
Bobby stays busy on patrols and wishes more retired people would take the time to volunteer. “We need and encourage retired men and women over 50 who are willing to patrol and do other collateral duties,” Bobby said. A ride-along can be scheduled for anyone interested. For Bobby, “the most rewarding part is that it gives me an avenue to be of service to my community and the SDPD,” he explained.