Return to Headlines

From NYPD to Tavares High – Volunteer helps keep students safe


TAVARES Les Morgenstein lived the life of danger and excitement many of us watch on nail-biting TV dramas. He was part of the New York Police Department (NYPD), first as a member of the SWAT team and later as an undercover detective. He stayed active for 11 years, putting bad guys away, until he was shot in the line of duty. 


“My city and community stepped up to the plate and gave my family and me the most comfort and support possible,’’ he said. “I have never forgotten that, and I just felt it was my turn to give back.”


Today, Morgenstein is taking the skills he learned on the streets of New York and using them to help keep students safe in the hallways of Tavares High School. He is one of several members of the Volunteers on Patrol Program (VOPP), a team of people who Lake County school officials and resource officers by deterring, detecting and delaying threats to campus security.


While Morgenstein’s police background is helpful, it is not required to become part of the VOPP.


“We have volunteers of all ages and backgrounds,’’ said Reginald Young, Safety and Security Manager for Lake County Schools.


Applicants must be 21 years of age, pass a background check and commit to volunteering at least eight hours of month.


Click here to learn more about the program and how you can apply to be a Volunteer on Patrol!