The Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) held their 25th-anniversary celebration Saturday at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.

"We're just so proud of our accomplishment," says Rose with COPP. "We have about 90 folks here with active members, past members, as well as VIPs. We had some awards handed out in celebration of our members, six with 20 years or more of service and another six members with 10-19 years service. The community gives us so much support, as well as the RCMP, the Mayor, and the city councillors."

MLA Ian Wishart did a member's statement in Legislature on May 31st talking about Portage la Prairie's COPP 25th anniversary and he was at the celebration.

MLA Ian Wishart was in attendance last night and fully supports COPP in Portage. (Photo by Aaron Wilgosh)

"It's been a special case here in Portage," says Wishart. "We have a great core of volunteers, they do great work in the community, and for the average citizen to make a difference in their city is just a great accomplishment and they should be applauded for the good work they do."

Several past members were in attendance and all seemed very thrilled about the growth of COPP. One thing heard throughout the room was more young people need to get involved with the program. Sergeant Larry Dalman was the first RCMP Liaison to the group and says it was amazing to come back for the celebration.

Sergeant Larry Dalman was the first RCMP Liaison to COPP and helped get things off the ground. (Photo by Aaron Wilgosh)

"Portage la Prairie was actually one of the first communities to start COPP in the province of Manitoba, plus we were the first community to create a full-time RCMP Community Policing Officer so it went hand in hand when we started creating all the programs in Portage la Prairie so we'd have volunteers to help out. Without citizens helping out the Police are limited in the things we do because we're governed by the number of officers we have. It's amazing to see after 25 years there's a number of people who originally started here and are still with the program."

If you'd like to be involved, head down to the RCMP detachment and let them know you'd like to be a member where you can fill out an application.