After a year of establishing a new Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP) in Morden, a little recognition for efforts made has come its way.
COPP Coordinator Shannon Sylvester explained.
"We had gone into Winnipeg to the annual general meeting of all Manitoba Citizens on Patrol Program volunteers and Morden was recognized for their group that has started in Morden."
She said although founder of the Morden COPP Shane Houser has stepped back to focus on other commitments, the group has been able to grow.
"The group is currently sitting at 14 full time volunteers and one that's away for schooling right now. We have some really exceptional volunteers here in Morden."
She described the typical shift for a volunteer.
"The volunteers meet at the Morden police station, usually for their shift, which is usually a 2-hour shift, and then they drive around Morden and they are the extra eyes and ears for our local city police that we have here in Morrden. We're watching for anything out of the ordinary, like people in the park or people down in the campground, check business doors to make sure they're locked. We can do foot patrol. We can do bike patrol."
Sargeant Scott Edwards is the Morden Police Service liaison for COPP in Morden and had this to say about the recognition and work of the volunteers.
"The Morden Police Service would like to congratulate the Morden chapter of the Citizens on Patrol Program for their recognition at this year’s Manitoba COPP AGM in Winnipeg last month. The Morden program has been in operation since 2022 and has seen the membership as well as volunteer hours grow steadily since its inception. The commitment from this small group of volunteers has not gone unnoticed, and we appreciate the added eyes and ears in our community that help our service strive to keep the City of Morden one of the safest communities in Manitoba. We look forward to working with this organization for years to come and encourage anyone that is interested in volunteering in our community to consider the COPP."
Sylvester feels like they make a difference in the community.
"Different vehicles that are parked or whatever, we can watch them make sure that there isn't a bunch coming and going from the vehicle or checking the bathrooms in the park after hours making sure they're closed and if it's not, we can let the police know. Of course, summertime is busier, but lots more people out and about. So, we keep an eye on people. During 'Pride Week' when we had so much going-on, like flags being stolen and stuff, we watched those homes more closely for stuff happening there."
She shared her appreciation for the recognition from the provincial COPP.
"It felt really good for us to receive the recognition as we kind of had a little bit of a rough start with few volunteers and now we've worked ourselves up to 14 full-time. It was great to see and gave the whole group a little more, 'OK, we can do this. Let's keep it up.' We're always looking for some more volunteers which is awesome."
Anyone interested in becoming a part of the team can visit the MB COPP website or contact MPS for more information.
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