Recently, the Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) in Portage la Prairie experienced a first -- they won the Outstanding Service Award for Manitoba COPP. 

Chairperson Charlie says the announcement was made at their Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg. 

"They give out four awards and we won this award," says Charlie. "It's Manitoba-wide, and this is the first time in 31 years that we've won it. It's gratifying. Our people put in a lot of time and a lot of energy into the program, so it's always nice to be recognized."

He explains it's awarded to a group every year, along with three other awards. 

Spokesperson Rose says they're competing with forty other groups in the province. 

"So, it makes us pretty proud and I'm so proud of our members," continues Rose. "They're just so loyal and dedicated. We have members that have 30 years. We have members that have 28 years, and we have 11 members that have just started this year. They're all very, very helpful when it comes to patrolling the city and looking after all of our extracurricular stuff."

She reminds Portagers of their residential checks for any snowbirds or those who will be going away for more than a week. You can register with the RCMP and they'll provide a person to check your property from the road. 

RCMP Media Liaison Officer Constable Larry Neufeld says COPP in Portage is extremely dedicated to the city and the service they provide. 

"Even the fact that they hold the golf tournament and the hot dog barbecues, where all the funds raised go back to the kids in the community, just shows their dedication to what they think of this community," notes Neufeld. "I can't stress enough how important they are for us, and we appreciate everything they do every day and every night. They're out patrolling throughout the evening, providing us information which we take, in turn, to help solve some of the crimes that occur in town."

Charlie has been with COPP for 13 years and Rose has been with COPP for 27 years, joking that she needs a pension. 

"Our group does enjoy doing the work that we do," adds Rose. "With every patrol, there's a report that's made. And so the RCMP deal with those reports as well. I think it's a pretty effective program and a helpful program."


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