For over 19 years our Citizens on Patrol (COP) community based volunteer group has helped to minimize the amount of crime occurring throughout our city. C.O.P. volunteers are extra “Eyes and Ears” for the Vernon/North Okanagan RCMPolice. The program provides a valuable service to our community. They observe, record and report suspicious activities to our police officers.
Duties involve patrolling streets, business areas, hotels and parks, as well as reporting and recording suspicious activities. Citizens on Patrol are able to report vandalism; check license plates to determine if a vehicle has been stolen; report on erratic driving; report on unsecured business premises (broken doors, windows or gates); and report any suspicious activity.
Our COP volunteers are also responsible for the Speed Watch Program and the Lock out Auto Crime Program. Being a proactive member of the community and assisting police is the number one duty of Citizens on Patrol.
The RCMP Safe Communities Unit recruits, trains, equips and manages the C.O.P. program for Vernon and District.
In preparation for training these volunteers will go through a criminal record check, an enhanced security check, and have an interview before taking classroom training and practical training doing shifts with experienced volunteers. Training involves developing patrol skills, taking notes, court processes, working with partner agencies including the RCMP, By-laws and ICBC, observations skills and report writing just to name a few.
The volunteers are men and women of all ages and backgrounds, including some with police experience. Some people volunteer as a way to prepare for a career in police work. The time commitment is 60- 72 hours a year with most volunteers doing more.
Volunteers can choose to go on the car patrols Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, or take part in the Speed Watch or Lock Out Auto Crime programs, which are done in partnership with ICBC. Volunteers on car patrol do not have to leave the vehicle.
The COPs also provide a visible deterrent through their involvement in our Speed Watch and Lock out Auto Crime programs which assists in reducing theft from automobile and speeding complaints.
The Vernon COP and Speed Watch Programs operate and are managed by Regan Borisenko, Crime Prevention Coordinator with the City of Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP/ Safe Communities Unit. Call 250-550-7847 or email at email@example.com