Hundreds of volunteers from across Manitoba are being recognized this week as the province marks the 12th annual Citizens on Patrol Week.
The Citizens on Patrol Program mobilizes citizens to participate in a community-based crime prevention initiative in co-operation with local law enforcement agencies. Sponsored by Manitoba Public Insurance, COPP has 71 active groups and 1,700 volunteers dedicated to reducing crime within their neighbourhoods.
“This grassroots program has been instrumental in preventing crime and assisting local police agencies,” said Attorney General Andrew Swan, minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance.
“Given the long hours they put in for their communities, it’s only fitting that we set aside this week to recognize their extraordinary efforts. It’s our chance to commend our volunteers for their dedication and commitment — but also to draw attention to this important program.”
COPP groups have been key in raising awareness of road safety risks in their communities over the past few years, says MaryAnn Kempe, an MPI vice-president in charge of community relations.
“We have groups helping out with speed-reader board monitoring, patrolling at school crossing zones, identifying impaired drivers on the road and conducting seatbelt and cellphone use surveys in conjunction with the RCMP,” Kempe said. “Being a COPP member can be difficult and demanding work. I am thrilled that so many selfless volunteers rise to this challenge in communities big and small.”
COPP Week — Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 — kicked off this past weekend with a provincial conference in Winnipeg where program representatives from across Manitoba met to share successes, discuss challenges and to hear from speakers who can help them become more effective.
Manitobans interested in joining or learning more about the Citizens on Patrol Program can visit the organization’s website, citizensonpatrol.mb.ca, or call the provincial co-ordinator toll free at 1-866-326-7792.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 29, 2013