As our mission statement declares, “We are committed to … building successful community partnerships…” and the COP is one of the ways we have accomplished that goal. This volunteer program was established after several graduates of our Citizen’s Police Academy expressed an interest in serving as volunteers with our department. The first group of volunteers graduated from the program in 1999.
Members of the Citizens Observer Program serve as additional “eyes and ears” of the Brunswick Police Department. These volunteers receive specialized training and work in conjunction with department personnel in non-enforcement duties. The Citizen Observer Program members are trained to observe and report suspected criminal activity but to never actively confront a situation. Each C.O.P. member is given training that focuses on the C.O.P.’s primary function…to look and listen…and what to look for while “on-duty.” For example, members are trained on the signs of burglary, vandalism and suspicious activity. Additional instruction centers on reporting procedures.
These volunteers perform crime watch duties and alert the police department of hazards and unlawful behavior while freeing up sworn officers to perform other duties. The C.O.P. serves as a strong deterrent against unlawful actions of potentials through it’s visibility in specially marked vehicles.
Among other things, C.O.P. members:
- have worked crowd control and traffic control at events such as parades and football games.
- routinely patrol problem areas and high traffic areas such as shopping districts.
- assist the Traffic Division with traffic control at crash scenes, fire scenes and special operations.
- serve as Parking Enforcement Officers for the downtown area.
- assist administrative staff.
- were involved in many of the extra duties required for the G8 Summit hosted at Sea Island in June of 2004.
C.O.P. members have devoted countless hours to assisting the Brunswick Police Department in so many ways, and we salute them for their commitment not only to our department, but to the community.