Smithers Citizens on Patrol volunteers gather for a luncheon in their honour at Daddios Family Restaurant Oct. 24. (Thom Barker photo)

Citizens on Patrol seeks new members

Current volunteers were honoured with a luncheon in advance of Crime Prevention Week

Smithers Citizens on Patrol (COP) honoured its volunteers with a luncheon last week at Daddio’s Family Restaurant.

“I really appreciate you all coming out week after week, night after night,” said Matt Davey, the Town’s community policing officer. “I know it’s not always easy, especially in the cold winter weather, but you guys are still showing up and doing it and we really appreciate your efforts.”

Davey said the Smithers community is very much engaged.

“When I go out of town to larger centres and talk to other community police officers and tell them that our volunteer base is 25 people if we include Crime Stoppers and Speed Watch, their minds are blown,” he said. “In this day and age it’s really hard to come by volunteers. We live a much busier life and I really do appreciate the fact that you guys take time out of your day.”

Nevertheless, he said, they can always use more volunteers.

This week is Crime Prevention Week (Nov. 4 -10) and Smithers COP is using the opportunity to try to increase its ranks.

Sgt. Darren Durnin of the Smithers RCMP detachment, who worked in community policing before becoming a Mountie, also attended the lunch and asked the volunteers to reach out to others in the community to step up.

“I know it can be easy to maybe not necessarily feel appreciated, but now that I’m a policeman and I’ve done both roles, community policing and engagement from the community directly involved and indirectly with us makes a difference in our communities that we serve,” he said.

“Part of your role is to try to keep the recruitment going and get people engaged because the police can’t do it on our own, we do need the community to be involved.”

Bruce Bobick, a COP volunteer who, with his wife Marg have been involved for 25 years, said they have gotten a lot of satisfaction out of the experience.

“You feel like you’re doing something good for the community,” he said. Vandalism or theft is always a problem so if you can curb even one of those… occasionally you run into other things, so if someone is overdosed, or as we found once, one person had fallen on the sidewalk and we managed to call the ambulance right away. It’s just backing up the police department.”

He added over the years they have alerted police to a variety of crimes including impaired driving and stolen vehicles.

“The gist of it is we tour the town, churches, schools and that sort of thing, and we cover the whole town, and when there’s time we’ll run out to Telkwa even,” he said. “Basically, it’s touring town and looking for anything that shouldn’t be there.”

Prospective volunteers can work as little or as much as they want on their own schedule. Shifts are two hours long.

Crime Stoppers and Speed Watch are also looking for new members. Bobick said they received 18 tips on the Dease Lake and Laird murders alone and frequently pass along tips related to drug activity, phone scams and other offences.

Interested parties can contact Matt Davey at the Community Policing Office (250 847 6197).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight

The money will come through a combination of direct supports for workers and businesses and tax deferrals

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Rest stops barring washroom access to truckers a ‘huge problem’ as COVID-19 spreads

Teamsters Canada says truckers are increasingly being denied warm meals

Canadians asked to wash mailboxes, keep dogs at bay, to ensure safe mail delivery

Four postal workers in Canada have tested positive for COVID-19 infection:

Hospitality workers hit ‘first and hit hardest,’ says union seeking more support

Union represents workers in hotels, casinos, airports, arenas, universities, schools and remote resource camps

Most Read