By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Citizen Observer Patrol (or COP) is the Broward Sheriff’s Office community policing program. If your community doesn’t have a patrol, they should consider forming one. Residents in this all-volunteer force help patrol their own communities all on BSO’s dime. They will provide your community with a car, gas, and all upkeep. All you have to do is provide volunteers who will take the training class to become a COPs certified. Once certified and trained, residents drive around in pairs with different scheduled shifts throughout the week.
What do they do while driving around?
The function of the Citizen Observer Patrol is to observe and report suspicious circumstances and criminal violations within assigned areas of responsibility. As a COPs volunteer, they cannot approach or arrest people. Any activity that looks suspicious must be reported to BSO by phone. Volunteers drive around and cover areas of their community and become the eyes and ears of BSO.
Would you like to be a volunteer?
Several times a year, the BSO District Office in Tamarac has a training class. Their next one is on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Tamarac BSO District Office at 7515 NW 88th Ave., next to city hall.
Becoming a COP volunteer requires a criminal background check and a Florida driver’s license. Please fill out the application here and drop it off at the District office or contact Deputy Carl Fitzgerald at 954-720-2225.