The Keremeos Community Crimewatch (C.O.P.S.) is a volunteer crime prevention program in which members of the community provide support and assistance to the police and the community through patrols and reports of any suspicious or criminal activities.
The primary purpose of the program is to assist the community and police in the detection of crime through the prompt reporting of suspicious or criminal activities. The program is like the extra eyes and ears concept of the Community Crimewatch but takes a more active role. This program will achieve two particular goals:
- Report any criminal activities (re-active response)
- Prevent any criminal activities via publicity done around this program (pro-active response)
Duties and Responsibilities
- Research ways that citizens can get involved in a Community Crimewatch group
- Locate interested citizens who could assist in this project
- Train patrollers and coordinate patrols
- Plan and conduct a public education program for crime prevention
- Apart from the special duties and responsibilities of all members while actively engaged in patrolling duties, it is of paramount importance that the conduct of all members, particularly while on patrol, be open to public scrutiny. Only in this manner will it be possible to gain the trust, respect and public confidence necessary to make this program successful. Members cannot get, or expect to get, the co-operation from the public at large if they are not entirely beyond reproach and completely fair in their day to day contact with all citizens of the community that the patrol program affects.
- Because many of the community citizens are known by the members, it may sometimes be tempting to overlook an incident because of who is involved. That is a dangerous precedent to set and the program will run the risk of justifiable criticism if that is allowed to happen. Not only must the member be fair, and seem to be fair, they must also be consistent.
- Common sense and sound judgement will see members through the majority of situations, and while it is impossible to legislate for every event, the following are the minimum acceptable behavioural requirements of all members who assume patrol duties:
- No Patrol Member Shall:
- Consume alcohol within six hours of proceeding on patrol,
- Participate in harassment of individuals or use his or her authority to exercise unwarranted control of persons,
- "Turn a blind eye" to unlawful activities;
- Use his or her authority to accept favours from any member of the public, or
- Abuse his or her authority in any manner.
- Civic complaints against any patrol member will be investigated by the chairman of the Citizen on Patrol Program and reviewed by a committee of at least three members of the program. Action will be consistent with the outcome of committee review and findings. The complainant will be fully briefed on the findings and the reasons for any administrative action taken or not taken against the patrol member in question.
- In addition to expected personal conduct, Patrol members will adhere to the following during their tours of duty:
- Complete at least two full tours of the patrol area during their shift,
- Record or report all suspicious activity,
- Record descriptions of persons and vehicles, when due to the circumstances, and in the opinion of patrol members, it is appropriate to do so,
- Contact the R.C.M.P. immediately if a crime, or evidence of a crime is discovered,
- If evidence of a crime is discovered, protect the crime scene to the full extent possible. Engage other available members to assist in this task if possible and appropriate. DO NOT TAMPER WITH EVIDENCE,
- Members of the patrol will render assistance to the police when requested to do so,
- Complete a patrol report at the end of each shift. Pass the report to the patrol leader at the next opportunity, if it is routine, and directly to the chairman of the patrol committee if it contains anything other than routine information.
For further information about the COPS program, please contact the Keremeos R.C.M.P. at 250 499-5511.
- Members of the patrol will wear distinguishing marking/identification as may be decided by the committee,
- Once issued, all patrol members, whether on patrol or not will carry their individual identification card identifying them as members of the Citizens On Patrol program.