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Members of the Dawson Creek RCMP, along with volunteers, are wrapping gifts by donation until Dec. 23 as a fundraiser for the South Peace Crime Prevention Association, an umbrella organization that encompasses the Citizens on Patrol, Rural Crime Watch, Speed Watch and Restorative Justice programs.

The detachment is also seeking volunteers for the Citizens on Patrol program – which involves citizens driving round the community and reporting any suspicious activity to police.

“This year we’re on a big kick for volunteers for Citizens on Patrol. In the past, we’ve got a lot of a great information from our Citizens on Patrol that assisted us in our investigations, but right now we are in a huge demand for numbers,” said Cst. Ambie Verbruggen, the detachment’s community policing/crime prevention officer, who was at the mall on Wednesday evening wrapping gifts.

She said the only requirement for applicants is they have to be at least19 years old, and they have to submit a criminal record check. She added the volunteer programs are an excellent prerequisite for anyone interested in becoming an RCMP officer, or for those who just want to be more aware of what is happening in their community.

“It gives you that experience of keeping your eyes open and noticing things you might not normally notice when walking down the street,” she said.

An information package and application form can be picked up at the mall until Dec. 23, or at the detachment anytime.

Verbruggen said, generally, the funds from gift wrapping have been used to send volunteers to crime symposiums and different workshops that help them when they are on patrol or working in partnership with the RCMP and the community. She added volunteers in the Citizens on Patrol and Rural Crime Watch programs are also compensated for their vehicle mileage.

The gift wrap fundraiser is happening from 12-8 p.m. at the Dawson Mall.  

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