When a COP volunteer sees something suspicious, they call the RCMP dispatch directly to report it. (Photo by why kei on Unsplash)

Trail COPs help take a bite out of crime

Applications for Trail Citizens on Patrol are available at the detachment or online

Nine extra sets of eyes and ears have volunteered to keep watch on the police beat after Trail gave its Citizens on Patrol (COP) program a reboot earlier this year.

Previous: Interested in being a Trail COP?

And, these trained altruists are already making a difference for law enforcement – and the community at-large – by alerting the Mounties when they spot suspicious goings-on.

“There have been a few incidents where the volunteers have reported an activity that resulted in a crime being stopped,” says COP Coordinator Lawrence Best.

“The presence of the COP vehicle deters crime, and the main role of the volunteers while they are patrolling is to take detailed notes and photos of suspicious activity,” he told the Trail Times.

“So the biggest advantage of the patrol is that it acts as a deterrent.”

The program is holding its own for now, however, more eyes and ears are always welcome.

“Over the last few months, the program has been in a transition stage as I have taken over the COP Coordinator position,” Best said.

“The program is holding steady, but we’d like to remind everyone that the program is reliant on volunteer participation to remain effective.”

Anyone who is interested in applying, is encouraged to visit the Trail RCMP detachment and ask for a COP volunteer package.

The forms are also available 24/7 by visiting the city’s website, at www.trail.ca/COP.

As part of signing on, however, Best advises all applicants that a trip to the detachment is required to fill out a criminal record check authorization.

“Once approved, applicants will be invited to a training seminar to go over the policies and procedures of the program,” he explained.

“This is strictly a volunteer opportunity and a minimum of one shift per month is required; however, signing up for more shifts is always appreciated.”

The shifts are generally four hours long and there is a wide variety of time options to help fit into everyone’s schedules.

As far as patrol areas, Best says the COP program receives information from the RCMP regarding problem areas to watch.

Aside from specific points COPs are asked to keep an eye on, they regularly patrol all parks, common areas, and business areas of downtown.

“Having more eyes and ears is a big help in the community regardless of whether any crime has been witnessed or not,” Best said.

“When a patrol happens, and nothing of note is observed, that tells us the program is working.”

When a COP volunteer sees something suspicious, they call the RCMP dispatch directly to report it. While an RCMP member is on their way to the scene, the volunteer continues to watch, take notes, and capture photos from a safe distance.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Powerful thunderstorms called for the West Kootenay this weekend

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Thursday afternoon.

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

Trail chamber sources PPE for local businesses

Trail businesses can purchase PPE through their local chamber of commerce

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

Most Read