Thursday, January 17, 2013

CDA Police Department to set up COPS substation

Police volunteers needed for station this summer


By Sgt. Christie Wood
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department started our Police Volunteer program in 2004. In the ensuing years, we utilized the talent and special skills of community members in a variety of ways. Since we began the program, these dedicated citizens have put in over 40,000 hours of volunteer time.

Some of our police volunteers are COPS (Citizens on Patrol, who are provided specific training to assist our patrol division. COPS are responsible for marking and towing all of the abandoned vehicles in the city. They are also authorized by the Mayor and Council to issue tickets for parking violations. They assist with traffic control at accident scenes and assist with traffic for special events. Our COPS volunteers wear a uniform provided by the Police Department and drive a marked car similar to a police car. They are a tremendous help to us and our community at large.

Other police volunteers help in our Records Division. These volunteers do data entry, scanning, filing, etc. We also use civilian volunteers to assist us with fingerprinting and the scheduling of our Traffic School. We rely on these talented people to help us with an increasing work load.

In the Detective Division, retired law enforcement volunteers assist with case investigations. In the Community Relations Division, volunteers help with designing and producing handouts with pertinent information about personal safety and many other topics. Volunteers also assist with public speaking and the Neighborhood Watch Program.

This year our goal is to implement our first ever COPS sub-station for the city of Coeur d’Alene. This program will be similar to the SCOPE program that Spokane Washington has in place. This program consists of volunteers and police officers working together to show high visibility in a neighborhood, or area of town. We are currently searching for a suitable location in the East Sherman area of town and hope to have one identified by early summer.

Volunteers would be asked to work at the COPS station by being available to answer questions, take found property police reports and a variety of other miscellaneous tasks. We believe the COPS station is one more tool we can use to assist us in crime prevention.

If you are interested in becoming a Police Volunteer we are looking for citizens to help us in all areas. For an application you can contact our COPS Coordinator Rob Clifford at rclifford@cdaid.org . You can also visit our website at www.cdaid.org for additional information on the Volunteer Program.