Citizens on Patrol Program celebrates 25th anniversary ─ new members welcome

The Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP), sponsored by Manitoba Public Insurance, is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this year. There are now 48 active groups across the province and more than 1,000 volunteers dedicated to reducing crime within their communities and neighbourhoods.

“As a former member of COPP, I can speak first-hand to the important role that our community volunteers play. This program allows residents of their community to take a hands-on approach in helping reduce crime in their neighborhoods,” said the Honourable Ron Schuler, minister of Crown Services.

“There’s a real sense of community ownership among COPP volunteers, knowing they are truly making a difference. On COPP’s 25th anniversary, I congratulate all past and current members for their volunteerism in this excellent program. I also encourage those interested in COPP to take that next step and become involved.”

COPP began in Manitoba in 1991 when partnerships were formed with local law enforcement and citizens desiring to make their communities safer. The three main goals of COPP are deterrence, education and awareness. Last year COPP volunteers provided nearly 15,000 patrol hours and 23,000 hours of other volunteer service related to the program.

“COPP is a grassroots program specifically designed to serve as a highly visible crime deterrent,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“This community-based crime prevention and education program provides additional eyes and ears for local police agencies. The program has successfully stopped criminal activities and heightened people’s awareness of public safety.”

COPP volunteers actively raise awareness of road safety risks in their communities. Groups have participated in initiatives such as speed-reader board monitoring, auto crime vehicle audits, patrolling at school crossing zones, identifying impaired drivers on the road and conducting seatbelt and cell phone use surveys in conjunction with the RCMP.

“The 25th anniversary of COPP is a great opportunity to recognize all the volunteers, past and present, and the positive impact they continue to have on our communities.” said C/Supt Scott Kolody, OIC Criminal Operations of the Manitoba RCMP.

“I speak on behalf of all of our officers when I say that the partnership we share is not only essential to our Division, but greatly valued.”

In addition to providing funding for COPP, Manitoba Public Insurance offers coordination assistance in co-operation with Manitoba Justice, Manitoba Housing, the Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP, the Brandon Police Service and other municipal police services.

If someone is interested in joining a COPP group, or starting one in their community, training and equipment are both provided at no charge. Prior to participating in COPP patrols, all new members receive training delivered by one of COPP’s certified trainers, as well as a training manual. In addition, new members are provided with one-on-one supervision with an experienced member during their first patrols.

More information can be obtained by calling the provincial coordinator at 204-985-8849, or toll-free at 1-866-326-7792, or visiting

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