The Battlefords Citizens on Patrol (COPP) are looking for recruits who live or work in the community to help patrol the streets. According to Herb Sutton with the North Battleford Crime Prevention HUB, COPP was founded in 1996 in the Battlefords and currently only has a handful of members actively patrolling neighborhoods.
“Essentially Citizens on Patrol is more sets of eyes that care out in the community. These are people that are out and about having a look at what’s going on in the community, watching for any suspicious activity, and then getting that information to the RCMP.”
Sutton said at the moment patrols are limited due to the group’s current volunteer situation.
“It hasn’t necessarily been regular, like every single week for example, because there are only six of them and that’s one of the reasons we’re looking for more people to join the group.”
According to Sutton with an increase in recruits to the program there is the potential to expand patrols and focus on high crime areas. Currently the group is looking to expand to 15 or 20 volunteers by the summer.
COPP is looking for concerned citizens who are 19 or older, live or work in the community and can pass a security screening. Volunteers meet once a month and are required to attend at least six meetings per year, as well as a minimum of 12 patrols per year with training provided.
Members of COPP have no policing authority and are not allowed to be armed in any way, to harass or chase anyone or follow police or emergency vehicles. Also for their own safety COPP volunteers are obliged to contact the RCMP if they witness suspicious activity, and to continue to observe and take notes until police arrive. Members also never go alone on patrol.
COPP is currently administrated by the City of North Battleford, the Battlefords RCMP Detachment in conjunction with the RCMP Liaison Coordinator, and the Executive Committee of the Citizens on Patrol Program. For more information on how to volunteer click here.
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