Local starts Citizens On Patrol group to help RCMP

A local woman has started the recruitment process for a Citizens On Patrol group in Fort St. John.
Side of a RCMP cruiser. A white car with an RCMP logo
A local woman has started recruiting for a local Citizens On Patrol group. (file)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A local woman has started the recruitment process for a Citizens On Patrol (COP) group in Fort St. John.

Jackie Miranda, president of the newly formed group, said she noticed a lot of crime in the city and many upset residents, but no one was taking action.

“Lots of people just complaining more than taking action, and I was always raised, either you’re part of the solution, or you’re part of the problem,” Miranda said.

She began looking into different ways community members could still be law-abiding citizens while helping the RCMP.

While attending a meeting about the local Salvation Army and the proposed overdose prevention site, a police officer discussed getting a COP group started, so the two exchanged contact information and created the group.

“All of a sudden, here we are.”

Miranda spoke with RCMP about the group’s role, which is only to be extra eyes and ears for uniformed officers. 

“The RCMP aren’t in charge of the group, but they’re definitely going to work alongside us to help guide us in the right direction so that we are a benefit to them and not a hindrance,” Miranda explained.

Her current goal is to recruit volunteers to record and report what they observe.

“[We need] people to patrol, people that will put decals on their vehicles saying ‘Citizens On Patrol,’” Miranda said.

Training will be provided on proper ways to report a crime and what types of incidents are reported.

Volunteers will be required to complete a criminal record check and must be 19 years old or older. Volunteers will need to use their personal vehicles, so they will also need a valid driver’s license as well.

Ideally, she’d like someone patrolling in the evenings, overnight and early mornings because those seem to be when property crimes occur.

“But that’s tough hours, so I would like anybody who wants to come forward and be part of it at all,” Miranda said.

“The bigger presence we have in the community, I think it’ll make a bigger awareness overall… I know that people don’t always stay up late or get up early in the morning, so the more people, the more hours, the better.”

To become a volunteer, contact Miranda via text at 250-261-0597 or email at copsfsj@gmail.com for an application form or more information.


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