COPs program seeks volunteers

Citizens On Patrol give RCMP extra sets of eyes and ears in battle against community crime...

The local RCMP can always use extra eyes and ears.

And the acclaimed Citizens On Patrol (COPs) program can as well.

New volunteers are needed for the group which serves as additional helpers in solving crimes for the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment.

“For the past 19 years, Citizens On Patrol volunteers have been patrolling the city and surrounding areas,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk. “They are the extra eyes and ears for the local detachment.”

In 2011, the 46 volunteer COPs members helped recover 35 stolen vehicles, and checked nearly 38,000 licence plates by hooking into an ICBC website to see if a vehicle had been stolen.

COPs personnel assisted RCMP to make 11 arrests and put in 4,314 volunteer hours. They worked 298 patrol shifts as well as 147 Speed Watch shifts, and patrolled more than 30,000 kilometres.

The age of the current volunteers range from 19 to 76.

New training will be held from Feb. 21 to 23.

Anyone interested can call the City of Vernon RCMP Safe Communities Unit at 250-550-7847 and ask for Regan Borisenko, or contact Netty Vinden at netty.w.vinden@gmail.com.

About 10 to 12 new volunteers would be ideal.