From May 4th to 6th, six members of Tumbler Ridge Citizens on Patrol (COPS) attended a Symposium in Kelowna, British Columbia at the UMBC Okanagan University. The attendees were Laurie LaCaine, Bill Hendley, Elaine Cooper, Charmaine Shirley, Sharon Bloomcrest, and Janet Delpierre.
Corporal Kurt Peats saw the group off at the Tumbler Ridge airport where a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) jet picked them up.
COPS are an organization of 20 plus volunteers within the Tumbler Ridge community who are the eyes and ears for the RCMP. They are sponsored by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and the RCMP. Janet Delpierre said that the group has been operating since early 2003. They patrol the community in order to prevent crime and if a crime is being suspected, the RCMP is called to respond.
Janet Delpierre said that COPS patrol at any time of day or night. All of the members take turns patrolling on different shifts. Charmaine Shirley said that there will be more shifts covered as summer nears.
The Symposium was intended to help support groups like COPS gain a better understanding of how to: fundraise, to have effective patrols, to have a better administration, and to discuss insurance and liability issues.
The trip was paid for by COPS through grants and fundraising.
Shirley said that she took a workshop called, ?Graffiti Eradication?. She said that it was very informative in teaching her how to spot the different types of graffiti. Shirley said that she was told the definition of graffiti is ?any writing, drawing, picture, symbol, or cartoon that is applied to any surface of any property without the property owners consent?. Shirley said now that she has been made more aware of the definition of graffiti, COPS will be watching for it a lot more within the community. Other issues
Some of the issues within the Tumbler Ridge community that COPS watch for are: graffiti, domestic violence, drinking and driving, and speeding.
Shirley said that there were several workshops at the symposium. All six COPS members attended different workshops and took notes so that they could relay the information to the other members.
Anyone interested in joining COPS can contact Charmaine Shirley at 242-1509.