October 15th marks the start of the 16th annual Citizens on Patrol Week, Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen and Manitoba Public Insurance announced today.
“Citizens on Patrol members epitomize the spirit of volunteerism and community involvement,” said Cullen. “Each of these community-minded volunteers deserve special recognition for their commitment to this community-based crime prevention program. They work in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to keep our communities safe.”
More than 1,000 Manitobans volunteer their time to participate in the Citizens on Patrol program throughout Manitoba.
In addition to providing funding for COPP ─ now in its 26th year ─ Manitoba Public Insurance offers coordination assistance in co-operation with the Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP, the Brandon Police Service and other municipal police services.
“We applaud the efforts of these community minded volunteers along with the law enforcement agencies that support them,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and Chief Administration Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.
“Over the past year, COPP volunteers have contributed nearly 15,000 patrol hours and more than 22,000 volunteer hours to the program. Their efforts continue to be instrumental in preventing crime in their communities and are an integral part of our efforts to keep our roadways safe by educating Manitobans about the dangers and consequences of illegal and high-risk driving behaviours.”
In addition to patrolling their communities, COPP groups display speed-reader boards (provided by Manitoba Public Insurance), patrol at school crossing zones, identify suspected impaired drivers on the road and conduct seatbelt and cell phone use surveys in conjunction with the RCMP.
COPP Week kicks off this weekend with a provincial conference in Winnipeg where program representatives from across Manitoba will meet to share successes and discuss how to continue providing value to the communities in which these volunteer groups operate.
Manitobans interested in joining or learning more about the Citizens on Patrol Program can visit the organization’s website or call the provincial coordinator at 204-985-8849 or toll free at 1-866-326-7792.