Citizen Observation Patrol Volunteer Program Objectives:
- To assist the agency through observation
- To help reduce crime in the community
- To increase cooperation between the citizens and law enforcement
- To increase public awareness
- To increase crime awareness in the public
- To improve the quality of life in the area
- To provide a safe and secure environment
- To make a difference in your community
Volunteer Citizen Observation Patrol (C.O.P.) acts as the eyes and ears for the Okeechobee County Sheriffís Office in the community. This is a two-part program. Private citizens volunteer time to observe and report suspicious and or criminal activities to the appropriate authorities. They will assist and direct people to various organizations within the county. The purpose of this program is to help reduce crime in our neighborhoods through cooperation with the Sheriffís office.
How does C.O.P. benefit the community?
Increase security of home and property, increase neighborhood involvement and deter crime in the community. These patrols provide a physical presence of C.O.P. who have direct contact with 911, which helps prohibit criminal activities. C.O.P. also develops a relationship between the Sheriffís Office and the community, which aids in prompt law enforcement response. This safety and security from crime makes your neighborhood a quality place to live.
Does C.O.P. reduce crime?
Okeechobee County Sheriffís Office crime prevention personnel are very familiar with the respective areas and aware of the specific concerns in these areas. C.O.P. will work in close relation with the Okeechobee County Sheriffís Office crime prevention in individual areas. As a result C.O.P. will provide greater observation of the area, which will help increase the Sheriffís Office authority in the community and help reduce crime.
How do I join C.O.P.?
Simply call 863-763-6064 and request an application to begin the process. The informal training class educates citizens on observation techniques and law enforcement as well as giving the citizen a more thorough understanding of the job that law enforcement does in Okeechobee County. After completion of the training citizens are ready to patrol for the C.O.P. unit. Citizens Observers are not Law Enforcement Officers, but are trained to be the eyes and ears for the Okeechobee County Sheriffís Office. C.O.P. does not replace neighborhood crime watch but greatly augments them.
How much time do I need to commit to the C.O.P. program?
Only the time you wish to commit. If you can only spare (4) hours a month, C.O.P. will gladly keep you busy. Hats, shirts, and windbreakers are provided; volunteers must provide their own pants, and shoes.