V. E. S. T.

Volunteer Emergency Services Team




For over five decades, the Town of Griffith and the Griffith Police Department have been privileged to receive help and support from many volunteers within the community.

A primary group is the Volunteer Emergency Services Team (V.E.S.T.). When initially formed, the organization was known as Griffith's Civil Defense. Later, it was re-named the Griffith Emergency Management Agency (abbreviated as G.E.M.A. or E.M.A.).

V.E.S.T. members are trained in various Police and emergency support functions. For example, V.E.S.T. volunteers provide patrol and support duties at outdoor activities such as the Park Full of Art, Western Days Festival, the July 4th Parade, and more. They help with traffic control at the scene of accidents or fires. And V.E.S.T. volunteers do the bulk of our funeral escort duties, and in 2006, that amounted to several hundred funeral escorts. In summary, the V.E.S.T. organization and members provide substantial cost savings to the Town and Police Department.

Through the leadership of Chief of V.E.S.T. Michael Czerwinski, V.E.S.T. operates under the supervision of the Griffith Police Department as it continues to provide invaluable services and support to Griffith first responders and the community at large. Chief Czerwinski can be reached at

Interested in becoming a member of the Griffith Volunteer Emergency Services Team (V.E.S.T.)? You must be a resident of Griffith, have a valid drivers license, and a background check will be done as part of the application and approval process.

Click HERE to download the V.E.S.T. application form in Adobe Acrobat® pdf file format.

Print out application, fill out the required information, sign the document, and mail to:

Griffith Police Department
Attn: VEST
115 North Broad Street
Griffith, Indiana 46319

If you wish, you can drop off the envelope at the Police station.


Thank you to Kartstedt Photography in allowing V.E.S.T to display this picture.

Members of VEST receiving a certificate of recognition from the Griffith Safety Board at their July 2013 meeting.


At the January, 2004 Police Commission meeting, a recognition award was presented to the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) for their dedication to the Town of Griffith and its residents, and for all the work they do to assist the Police Department. Several members are pictured above - from left to right are Jay Hess, Larry Atkins, John Corba, Joe Sibley (holding the award), and Director Dale Hess.


The headquarters for the Griffith Emergency Management Agency is at the corner of Miller and Indiana Streets, and the facility shares the same building as the Senior Center.

(Courtesy of the Griffith Historical Society)

Above are members of the Griffith Civil Defense circa 1960s.

(Courtesy of the Griffith Historical Society)

Crop/enlargement of Civil Defense members from above photo. Please e-mail us if you can help identify the members.