Strathcona County, Alta. – The Strathcona County Citizens on Patrol Society (SCCOPS) hosted the Alberta Citizens on Patrol Association (ACOPA) annual general meeting (AGM) and training sessions on Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, 2022, in Sherwood Park, Alta. The event occurred at the Strathcona County Community Centre, where 21 groups from across Alberta and four provinces met to participate in an entire weekend of speakers, learning and training.
This is the first time in two years that the Citizens on Patrol volunteers have been able to gather for this annual event. Each year ACOPA puts on an AGM and training sessions for volunteers, and local COP groups have the opportunity to host the event and showcase their group and community.
“The last two years have been very trying with all the ups and downs, “says ACOPA president Garth Kohlsmith. “It has been difficult to keep everyone on the road patrolling, fundraising and completing crime prevention presentations.”
Alberta currently has 53 Citizens on Patrol volunteer groups throughout the province, with 834 volunteers that spend their time contributing to the safety and well-being of their community.
On Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, the event was kicked off with a dinner and flag-raising ceremony with opening remarks from Mayor Rod Frank, RCMP Superintendent Dale Kendell and Director of Enforcement Services Tom Sutton.
“Our Citizens on Patrol volunteers play a huge part in our community, dedicating their time to report suspicious activity, run lost child stations at community events and gather stats through their Speed Watch program,” says Supt. Dale Kendell, Officer in Charge of the Strathcona County RCMP. “Our volunteers are positively impacting our communities, and we are truly grateful to have such a great working partnership.”
During the weekend, COP volunteers participated in various training opportunities and heard from guest speakers from numerous RCMP units, including; the RCMP Serious/Organized Crime Unit, RCMP Community Engagement Unit and RCMP Community Safety and Well-being. A large portion of the information provided by speakers incorporated drug use and trafficking within communities and included a presentation from the Harm Reduction Outreach program.
The Strathcona County Citizens on Patrol (SCCOPS) is a volunteer organization sponsored by the Strathcona County RCMP and Strathcona County. Members are a mix of urban and rural residents who devote their time and energy to serve as “extra eyes, ears and voice” to detect and deter crime in Strathcona County. The group partners with the RCMP/Enforcement Services to foster safer communities by patrolling throughout Strathcona County to observe and report suspicious and criminal behaviour. They also assist in numerous community events and operate a Speed Watch program supporting traffic safety within our neighbourhoods.
For more information about the Strathcona County Citizens on Patrol or to become a volunteer, please check out their website at www.sccops.ca.