Portage's Citizens On Patrol Program (COPP) celebrated 30 years of preventing crime in the community Thursday afternoon at the Portage Golf Club.

This was the first time since 2019 that the group has been able to put on their annual golf event co-hosted by the RCMP. 

Rose, a spokesperson for COPP, says that all the funding from this celebration will go toward Recreation Opportunities for Kids (ROK) and Big Brothers & Sisters of Portage La Prairie (BBBS of Central Plains).

She says how vital COPP is to the community.

"If you talk to any of the city councillors, the mayor, or RCMP, they are very grateful for our extra eyes and ears on the street."

Rose adds that without the RCMP's help, Citizens on Patrol wouldn't be as successful.

"COPP started in Portage in 1992. They started with about 70 members. I think we're about 25 members right now. We go up and down, and there's a lot of things that have happened in the last 30 years, and there's a lot of folks in the community that have gone through this program," says the spokesperson. "So, we're always looking for new members obviously because we patrol at night mostly, and if we don't have a lot of members, then it's a little bit more difficult."

As far as the event itself went celebrating 30 years, Rose says they couldn't have asked for better weather, with temperatures reaching a high of +33 on Thursday afternoon.

The spokesperson notes they had 118 registered golfers at the event, although only 106 were able to come for one reason or another.

COPP in Portage is the longest-running community patrol program in Manitoba, and Rose adds that the group is proud to have served the community for the last three decades.