COP puts out S.O.S. for new members

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January 24, 2017 8:41 AM

LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD PEOPLE Randy Glynn, vice-president of the local Citizens On Patrol, said the group's membership is in decline. The COP is putting out a call for new recruits, and encourages those interested to stop by the local RCMP detachment and fill out an application. JAIME POLMATEER LLS PHOTO

The Lloydminster Citizens On Patrol (COP) is putting out a call for recruits.
Vice-president of the organization, Randy Glynn, said with downturn in the economy many members moved away for work, bringing membership down around the 20 mark, and the group would like to double that number by year’s end.
“Some people have actually had to move to different communities for different jobs; we have certain people who were working full time and they had a set schedule, and now because their jobs have all changed, their schedules have changed,” said Glynn.
“So that in itself has affected our membership, some of the people who were quite active, now because of their new jobs, their activity has really decreased, because of course their schedules have all changed—by the end of the year we’d like to be around the 30 to 40 range, I think that would be a good comfortable spot for us.”
According to a social media post by COP president Greg Mathias, the organization was created in 1999 and involves citizens patrolling the community, assisting the RCMP in detecting crime. 
COP members patrol in designated vehicles with a partner, acting as an additional set of eyes and ears for the local Mounties, with the mandate of the program being to patrol, observe and report; COP members have no direct contact with offenders.
Members patrol assigned areas of the community and report any suspicious persons, vehicles or incidents that may be of interest to the RCMP, then incidents are evaluated by the RCMP who arrange appropriate the response.
Glynn said anyone interested in signing up can visit the local RCMP detachment, where they can fill out an application and get a mandatory criminal record check.
“It’s a very simple process, you fill out both your criminal record check and your application, submit it, we quickly review it, then the RCMP will say, yes this person is good, or they’re not good, and approve them or disapprove them, and if they get passed that, we do a quick interview to see if you match up pretty good, and most people do,” he said.
“Then we do our training, you do a couple patrols with people who are already experienced and have been here for a while, and then we’re good to go.”
The training Glynn mentioned is mostly based on legalities, learning about the things COP members can and can’t do while patrolling, as well as the proper channels needed to pursue to make sure the RCMP get information properly and on time.
Const. Grant Kirzinger, media spokesperson for the RCMP, said policing is something the entire community should be involved in, and being able to have the extra eyes and ears the COP provide is extremely valuable.
“Having the Citizens on Patrol out with us just increases our likelihood of finding things, being able to be more places at one time, being able to better serve the community,” Kirzinger said.
“So having individuals and concerned members of our community that want to help us out is always appreciated.”

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