By Sharon Aron Baron
Do you have a Citizen Observer Program in your community? The Citizen Observer Patrol (or COP) is the Broward Sheriff’s Office community policing program. Residents can 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 COPs certified. Once certified and trained, residents drive around in pairs with different scheduled shifts throughout the week. The Woodlands does this by rotating the car each week to their nine sets of volunteers. This way, each set drives every other month.
What do you 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, you 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, BSO in Tamarac has a training class. You can choose to be a driver or a passenger or both. Contact: Deputy Brad Miller, Tamarac 954-720-2225, or Deputy Carl Fitzgerald 954-720-2239 for more information and classes. Becoming a COP volunteer requires a criminal background check.