Edmonton, Alta.- The Alberta RCMP has been proud to support the Alberta Citizens On Patrol Association for numerous years and Tuesday Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean, Commanding Officer of the RCMP in Alberta and Ms. Beverley Salomons, Chair of the Alberta Citizens On Patrol Association (ACOPA), signed an official memorandum of understanding (MOU) which outlines the partnership that has been fostered between the two organizations.
Citizens On Patrol is a police supported, community led program aimed at reducing crime in the community through the active participation of citizens in crime prevention and patrol activities. When a crime, or suspicious behaviour, is observed, Citizens On Patrol members will immediately contact their local RCMP detachment.
“Citizens On Patrol members help us see a little farther, hear a little more and ultimately help make our communities safer,” said Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean, “While today’s MOU signing formalizes our cooperation, it’s the countless volunteer hours spent by community-minded citizens that are most vital to this program’s continuing success. Thank you for your selfless dedication to serving and protecting your communities.”
Apart from patrol activity, Citizens On Patrol may also be involved in crime prevention activities relating to the awareness and prevention of community safety issues.
“Today is a step forward in sealing the relationship between the RCMP and ACOPA” said Beverley Salomons, “And the continued opportunity for citizens in communities to volunteer as extra eyes and ears in keeping their communities safer.”
The relationship between Citizens On Patrol and the RCMP is one where both partners have a common goal of a safer community. As with any partnership, all partners must be actively involved in contributing to its success.
Alberta Citizens On Patrol Association
The Alberta Citizens On Patrol Association (ACOPA) is a volunteer association made up of 9 elected Board members. The ACOPA Board represents 74 Citizens On Patrol (COP) groups in communities across Alberta with over 1,500 volunteer members. Since the beginning of 2017, ACOPA has had 100 new members join the association. COP groups are trained citizens who are prepared to make two person patrols in their community at any time of day or night for the explicit purpose of observing and reporting any unusual or illegal activities to the local law enforcement.
ACOPA provides support to all COP groups, using the ACOPA Reference Manual for training as well as support and help when needed. ACOPA collects statistics from the COP groups as to how many kilometers the volunteers have driven and how many hours have been volunteered.
In 2016, 41 of the 74 COP groups across Alberta patrolled for 179,394 kilometers and 14,932 hours, volunteered for 6,265 hours for special activities in their communities and volunteered 6,566 hours for administration time.
To date this calendar year 32 of the COP groups have reported 32,355 kilometers and 2,733 hours patrolling, 887 hours volunteered for special events and 1,235 hours for administration times.