Citizens on Patrol

What is Citizens on Patrol?

Citizens on Patrol is a community policing program sponsored by the Waco Police Department. The purpose of the program is to enlist private citizens to volunteer time to actively patrol their community, to listen, watch and report suspicious and/or criminal activity to the appropriate authorities.

The success of citizens on patrol in reducing crime in major cities such as Fort Worth and San Antonio is a major factor in Waco's dedication to this project. COP provides greater observation of neighborhoods, both residential and business, which increases police presence in the community and reduces crime.

How does COP Benefit my Neighborhood?

Your neighborhood benefits by supporting COP volunteers who work closely with the Waco Police Department in patrolling and reporting significant occurrences and suspicious and/or potential criminal activities.

Neighborhoods also benefit by increased security for homeowners, businesses, and property owners through increased community involvement. Patrols provide a visible presence of an organized authority, which helps prevent criminal activities and also reduces inappropriate juvenile behavior.

In addition, COP fosters a vital and important relationship between the police and the community, aiding in prompt police response to potential problems. By working together, COP members and police officers make neighborhoods safer and more enjoyable places to live and work.

Objectives of Citizens on Patrol

  • To assist the Waco Police Department through observation and participation.
  • To help reduce and/or prevent crime in Waco neighborhoods, both residential and business.
  • To increase cooperation between Waco citizens and Waco police officers and increase direct citizen involvement in crime prevention efforts through empowerment of the community.
  • To educate Waco citizens concerning crime prevention.
  • To enhance public presence of the Waco Police Department in both residential and business neighborhoods.
  • To become a focal point through which other crime prevention programs can be developed and accepted.
  • To make streets and parks safe and secure for children, the elderly and for all citizens in neighborhoods.
  • To improve the quality of life for all Waco citizens.

How to Join Citizens on Patrol

You can become a member of COP in your neighborhood by contacting your local COP Chapter or the Community Outreach and Support Section of the Waco Police Department at 750-1764. Anyone volunteering for COP must be willing to attend a four hour training session which will be conducted by the Police Department, and participate in at least a two- hour ride with a police officer.

The training session will inform and educate citizens on observation techniques and police procedures. COP participants are not police officers and are trained for observation purposes only.

Each COP participant will be asked to commit to a minimum two-hour shift per month, but may patrol as much as they want to. COP's must patrol in pairs.

Patrols are conducted in personal vehicles with appropriate COP identification on magnetic signs attached to the vehicle. Volunteers will also be provided with hats, shirts and jackets displaying the COP logo. Cellular phones will be provided to patrollers so that they can maintain contact with area police and dispatchers.

Call the Waco Police Department at (254) 750-1761 to learn more about training opportunities in the COP program.