There was a strong turnout at the City of Cold Lake-hosted meeting with people interested in volunteering to patrol their community.
With about 75 people in attendance, a presentation was offered by representatives from the Alberta Citizens on Patrol Association (ACOPA) on how to create and run a local group in the City of Cold Lake and the surrounding area.
“We were asked about Citizens on Patrol, and in response, we contacted ACOPA to have them come up to teach residents what it is and how to start a group,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “There was a clear desire last night to learn more, and we were happy to help the volunteers get in touch with the right people.”
The Cold Lake Citizens on Patrol Society was spearheaded by a group of local volunteers, and Copeland offered the City’s assistance in setting up the meeting so that everyone could learn more about ACOPA.
The presenters explained the details of what it means to be a member of a Citizens on Patrol group, and how the Cold Lake group will now need to work with an RCMP liaison for training and to develop its organizational structure.
“At this point, the City will step back and let the volunteers continue to work out the details for the Cold Lake chapter,” said Copeland. “I’m proud to see local residents taking the initiative to make this work, and the strong support for the initiative that the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment has shown.”
Citizens on Patrol groups are not government-run organizations, but are registered societies run by volunteers. ACOPA was originally formed to assist Citizens on Patrol groups throughout Alberta through support, development and sustainability of COP programs. This includes having a set of bylaws that a group can use as a template, help with getting insurance to make sure the volunteers are covered and safe, and help making connections with local RCMP Detachments.
For more information on ACOPA, visit their website at www.acopa.ca
The Cold Lake Citizens on Patrol Society can be reached via email at [email protected]