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Photos: Senior volunteers give San Diego police a helping hand

If you got in a fender bender, you probably wouldn’t expect the first responder to be an unarmed octogenarian.

But that scenario is entirely possible in San Diego, where a special division of elderly volunteers helps lighten the load for regular police officers by responding to traffic accidents, using computerized license plate readers to identify missing vehicles and checking on houses whose owners are away on vacation, among other duties.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol, a San Diego Police Department volunteer program for people over the age of 50, has helped patrol the streets of the Southern California city since 1997.

The group is made up of roughly 50 volunteers, including six women, whose numbers include a retired paramedic, a former airline pilot and veterans of World War II and the Vietnam war.

RSVP member Henry Miller drives on patrol with partner Steve Rubin (L) as they search for a vehicle involved in a hit and run accident in San Diego, California on March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Henry Miller drives on patrol with partner Steve Rubin (L) as they search for a vehicle involved in a hit and run accident in San Diego, California on March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Members of RSVP take the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of their group meeting, February 24, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Members of RSVP take the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of their group meeting, February 24, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Henry Miller (L) is assisted by San Diego Police officer Joe Hilton after Miller found a stolen vehicle on his night patrol with partner Steve Rubin in San Diego, California on April 30, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Henry Miller (L) is assisted by San Diego Police officer Joe Hilton after Miller found a stolen vehicle on his night patrol with partner Steve Rubin on April 30, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Steve Rubin drives while on patrol with partner Henry Miller, March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Steve Rubin drives while on patrol with partner Henry Miller, March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member John Joyce takes part in the honor guard as he participates in the city's annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Diego, California on March 14, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member John Joyce takes part in the honor guard as he participates in the San Diego’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 14, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

88-year-old Ed Robles (R) throws a safety vest to partner Dick Engel after directing traffic at the scene of a car accident, February 4, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

88-year-old Ed Robles (R) throws a safety vest to partner Dick Engel after directing traffic at the scene of a car accident, February 4, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Steve Rubin drives on patrol with partner Henry Miller on March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

RSVP member Steve Rubin drives on patrol with partner Henry Miller on March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol member Steve Rubin (L) and Henry Miller grab a late meal at a restaurant while out on patrol, March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol member Steve Rubin (L) and Henry Miller grab a late meal at a restaurant while out on patrol, March 10, 2015. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

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