In just a few short months of breathing new life into Trail Citizens on Patrol (COP), volunteer crews have been making a difference by keeping sharp eyes on neighbourhoods throughout the city.
“It has been a great program for the Trail RCMP,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich says. “We have 13 dedicated COP volunteers who have been conducting regular patrols in the Trail area over the last few weeks. These patrols supplement the patrols conducted by RCMP and target some of our hot spot areas.”
Patrols are running throughout the day and night, making good use of their time, and contacting the RCMP for assistance when they observe crime and crime-related activity, he continued.
“Local businesses and the public have been contacting me and asking for COP to conduct patrols in their problem areas. Our COP Coordinator Sharon Kucher has been instrumental in bringing this program to Trail in such a short amount of time since she revamped and re-energized it,” Wicentowich said.
“We are going to continue expanding our volunteer capacity at the Trail detachment in the near and distance future with new programs. Please stay tuned.”
The topic came up during Monday night council when Coun. Sandy Santori provided an update on the program.
“There is a call out for more volunteers,” Santori said. “So anyone that would like to take part is asked to contact the COP coordinator or Sgt. Mike Wicentowich of the RCMP.”
All COP information, including the volunteer application form, is available for download on the city’s website at www.trail.ca/COP. Hard copies are also available in the Trail RCMP office, located at 3601 Laburnum Drive.
Interested parties can reach the COP Coordinator, Sharon Kucher, by calling 250.521.0049 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The COP program is a joint venture between the City of Trail and the Greater Trail RCMP. Funding is included in the municipal policing budget, which stands at $2.4 million annually.
The COP coordinator works with the city and police to recruit and train volunteers to help reduce crime be serving a an extra set of eyes and ears within the community.
The program supports its volunteers with comprehensive training and all required materials to effectively perform their duties.
Using marked vehicles, the teams of volunteers patrol local neighbourhoods to observe and report suspicious activity. Volunteers never interact in any potentially criminal or dangerous situation – all suspicious or criminal activity is reported to the RCMP.