Red Deer RCMP set to expand Citizens on Patrol program

The Red Deer RCMP is looking to grow the Red Deer City Citizens on Patrol (COP) program.

The program currently has over 30 members who work as a volunteers, patrolling in Red Deer and providing tips to on duty officers. COP works to reduce crime through the active participation of citizens in crime prevention.

In addition to welcoming new volunteers to the organization, the duties performed by members will be seeing a shift as well. Patrols used to spend a lot of time in their vehicles, surveying different areas from afar. With the changes to the program, members will be more visible, undertaking foot patrols in traffic areas like the downtown, where they can communicate with business owners, talk with area residents, and assist people who might need help.

“We are hoping to recruit 10 to 15 new members to COP,” said Const. Derek Turner. “We know that there are a number of citizens out there who want to help, but may not know how to help our RCMP officers effectively or safely. These are the people I would like to see volunteer to be COP members. Having a group of volunteers with enhanced training patrolling the streets and supporting the efforts of the RCMP will be a valuable resource as we move forward.”

Citizens on Patrol members will be given training and the necessary equipment to keep them safe. Teams will patrol Red Deer’s downtown and report suspicious behaviour back to RCMP officers.

“Our police officers cannot be everywhere at once,” explains Turner. “Volunteers through the COP program can help to ensure that we have eyes and ears in as many areas as possible. We hope that all our citizens recognize that we all have a responsibility in ensuring public safety, even if that is as simple as phoning in suspicious activity to our Police Non-Emergency Line.

If you would like to make a difference in public safety, including volunteering for COP, please contact Community Policing at 403-406-2483.

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