City police seek to double COP program

Vincent Ball

Expositor Staff

The Citizens on Patrol program is only a few months old but Brantford police already are looking to expand.

The police service has embarked on a recruitment drive to encourage residents, aged 18 and older, to apply to the volunteer program, known as COP.

“The program has been a huge success and we’re looking having more people join,” said Brantford police Sgt. Brad Cotton.

“We have 45 volunteers already and we have the capacity to add another 40. We’re hoping more people will come out and make a contribution to their neighbourhood and their community.”

The program began in June and volunteers have taken part in scores of events and contributed hundreds of hours of community service through foot, bike and vehicle patrols.

Police say that trained volunteers act as non-intrusive and non-confrontational observers, who report suspicious activity or incidents. They are not asked to be involved in arrests.

“It’s a great way to become involved in your community and it’s a great way to get to know your community,” said Alison Schott, an inaugural COP member. “We’re getting a lot of really good, positive feedback from people.

“We’re highly visible and because people are more aware of who we are, we have people coming up to talk to us.”

In addition to being the “eyes and ears” of police in neighbourhoods, the citizens on patrol are ambassadors, said Schott.

Ron Singer, another inaugural COP member, said he hopes that more people will join the effort.

“When I first heard about this I jumped at the chance to become involved,” Singer said. “I think it’s a great way for the police to have a presence in neighbourhoods throughout the city.

“It would be great to have more people involved.”

He said that he gets a sense of satisfactation from helping.

Anyone interested in learning more or applying to the program can visit www.bpscitizensonpatrol.ca and download an application form. Or they can visit the Elgin Street police station to pick up a form.

The deadline for applying is Oct. 21.

Brantford Expositor 2016 ©