The Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) in Portage la Prairie is hoping to get more volunteers.
Spokesperson Rose says the program started back in 1992 with about 70 members. She says the RCMP was instrumental in getting it started.
"Over the years, we've averaged between 25 and 40 members, so it makes it a little bit more easy to be able to patrol the whole city and Peony Farm," says Rose. "Since COVID, we've gone down quite a bit. We're at a 19 members right now. A lot of our members are doing double duty."
COPP says they are looking for people over the age of 18, in good health, a completed criminal check, a good reputation in the community, and to provide credible reports. They are asking for someone who is a good team player, a people-oriented person, who is willing to work a minimum of one 3-hour shift per month. They also hope volunteers will take part in other activities like their BBQs and monthly meetings.
"It's a great opportunity. We're really looking for some folks to step up. It would be nice if we could get 5 to 10 new volunteers," says Rose. "We don't expect anybody to be there forever, but I will tell you, we celebrated our 30th anniversary last year and we have a member that has 29 years."
Training consists of a two-hour review of the training manual completed by provincial trainers. This is followed by a one-hour drive patrol of the city. Later on in the month, a full three-hour patrol will be completed by COPP's other trainer. Patrol drivers are paid per kilometre by the city.
Anyone interested in joining COPP can contact the local RCMP.