On Friday February 24, a Battlefords Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) team spotted a suspected stolen vehicle and alerted North Battleford’s Community Safety Officers (CSO’s). The truck was confirmed as stolen and the recovery and investigation immediately turned over to the RCMP.
Prior to leaving on the nightly patrol, the 5 COPP teams and CSO pair were briefed by the RCMP detachment watch commander on issues of which to be aware. The briefing included the description of a stolen Ford 1⁄2 ton truck. COPP members were also alerted to a social media post which included further descriptions of the stolen truck. The suspected stolen truck was observed about 1 1⁄2 hours into the patrol; from time of theft to time of recovery was less than 3 hours.
Also during the patrol, COPP members and CSO’s alerted several property owners of potential theft risks such as open garage doors, reported a possible theft in progress and reported suspected car thieves.
COPP is a community based, volunteer- run crime prevention program that acts as another set of eyes, ears and voice for law enforcement. Trained COPP members deter and prevent criminal activity through observing, recording and reporting suspicious activity to the local RCMP and CSO’s in the Battlefords. Vehicular patrols occur at any time of day or night, based on the volunteers’ work and personal schedules.
Battlefords detachment commander Insp. Jesse Gilbert says regarding COPP:
"COPP is an integral part of a joint public safety plan within the communities of North Battleford and Battleford. I commend those volunteers who have answered the call to try and make their communities safer through this contribution. This is a clear example of how their effort really can make a difference. To steal a quote from Sir Robert Peel; “The police are the public and the public are the police.” This is a principle that is reflected very well in this good news story. Local citizens who have taken it upon themselves to become a part of that larger public safety picture."
COPP also operates a confidential, secure Outdoor Security Camera Registry where property owners make available information about their outdoor security cameras for criminal investigation purposes by the RCMP and CSO’s. Once registered, property owners can share their security camera footage ONLY upon request and must be asked EACH occurrence.
COPP always welcomes new members. Potential members can fill out an application available from the City and Town websites or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. A criminal record check will be required.
For more information about COPP please reach out via email to email@example.com.