Keeping our community safe: Citizens on Patrol

Michael Wirischagin
By Michael Wirischagin
November 11th, 2010

Volunteers spend many hours every week keeping the communities of Grand Forks and, more recently, Christina Lake safe. This group is so committed that Grand Forks Citizens on Patrol (COPS) President Don Fraser says the roughly fifteen volunteers provide “an invaluable service.”  Fraser has presided over these members for the past 13 months, and while he appreciates all of those who participate, there never seems to be enough.   “We have 14 or 15 volunteers at this time,” Fraser explained. “They are a great group who provide an invaluable service to this community, but we need more members. We don’t have enough.”   The Grand Forks COPS program began a few years back, according to Fraser, back when Ann Gordon was on the Grand Forks City Council. It began as a way to add an extra patrol of the Grand Forks area at times when mischief might be an increased high, and it has continued on from there.   “What the patrol is is a group of volunteers that is an extension of the RCMP but with no police officers, that drive around the community and observes and reports suspicious activities,” expounded Fraser. “We drive from one end of town to the other, down all the back alleys and by all the businesses and if we see something that appears out of place, we will phone it in.”   “We do a lot of good for the town” added Fraser. “We would just like more members”.   The good work of the COPS within Grand Forks has not gone unnoticed as they recently received a volunteer appreciation award from the City of Grand Forks.   Fraser doesn’t disclose what days COPS operates since he doesn’t want to tip off ‘the bad guys,’ but Fraser did say they usually do four hour shifts, sometimes overlapping. Of the roughly 15 members, most are retirees. Ultimately the Grand Forks Citizens on Patrol would like 30 members, explained Fraser.   Interested volunteers who want to find out more could become a member of COPS or at least go for a ride. But first, you’ll have to get a security clearance done by the RCMP, said Fraser. 

“Go to the RCMP station here in Grand Forks, tell them you would like to get a security check done to join Citizens on Patrol and they will lead you from there and get you in touch with the right people. It is a very easy and necessary process,” said Fraser. 

Categories: General