The Ponoka Citizens on Patrol Program (COPS) is a volunteer society that consists of members who serve as residential liaisons to the Ponoka RCMP. Members patrol the town of Ponoka and if unlawful activities are witnessed or highly suspected, members report their observations to RCMP officers in an attempt to reduce crime rates in the area.
Members meet once a month, patrol once a month, and do go venture out in their vehicles alone and do not approach individuals or groups of people. Vouchers are provided to cover the cost of gas and, while members don’t get paid for reporting successful tips, making our community safer is a great reward.
“It’s a program that helps the RCMP and in turn, helps our community,” said executive member Andrew McFarlane. “Crime isn’t just a problem in big cities – it happens in small towns too. Senior citizens are concerned about going out at night, and it’s time to start taking our freedom back,” he said while also mentioning the noticeable success of the Town of Ponoka’s curfew bylaw that has been key in the reduction of foot traffic and vandalism. “The more members we have, the easier the program and its success gets.”
While members of all ages are welcome to apply, there is a formal procedure. The group meets every third Wednesday with the next meeting set to take place on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. This is the second year the group has been running. With new logos, new brochures the group is looking forward to the year ahead. “We will be at the trade fair on April 24 and 25 with the Lions Club who are great supporters of what we do,” said McFarlane.
For more information, phone Andy at 403-783-4572 or Irene at 403-704-1220.