Citizens On Patrol needs volunteers

The program main purpose is to have volunteers observe, record and report suspicious activities.

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are currently recruiting and accepting applications for new volunteers for the North Okanagan Citizens On Patrol program.

The COP program is a community-based volunteer group that helps to minimize crime from occurring. Volunteers give their time, energy and expertise to become the extended eyes and ears for the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP.

The program main purpose is to have volunteers observe, record and report suspicious activities.

Program goals include to act as a deterrence and to provide a presence through patrolling by vehicle, by foot or by other means, to educate the communities about crime prevention and to provide awareness on crime-related issues such as theft, vandalism, theft from autos and speeding.

“The program works under the backing and direction of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP and will patrol and work within the areas of the Village of Lumby, electoral areas D and E of the Regional District of North Okanagan, the City of Enderby, Township of Spallumcheen and the City of Armstrong,” said Warren Smith, rural programs coordinator for the RCMP Safe Communities Unit.

The Citizens on Patrol program is looking for people who want to contribute time to their community and the police.

Candidates must be at least 17, a resident of the area, have no criminal record, a valid B.C. driver’s licence, and able to work within a structured environment with other people.

Successful candidates must commit one four-hour shift per month, have good communication skills and have no health or other problems that may impede them from working in an office/community environment.

Benefits of volunteering for the program include gaining or expanding volunteer experience; access to training, development and expansion of personal experience; increased knowledge of the RCMP and  a chance to give back to the community.

COP volunteers will also assist with programs like Speed Watch, Stolen Auto Recovery and Lock-out Auto Crime, along with special events, specialized projects and many other opportunities.

Volunteer shifts on average range from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and for those who can’t stay up that late there are always other opportunities to be involved during daytime hours.

To apply or to receive more information on the program please contact Smith at 250-550-7843 or drop by your local RCMP detachment to pick up an application form.