It could be the least appreciated, yet most valuable community driven organization in the Drumheller Valley.
The local Citizens on Patrol board appeared before Drumheller Town Council on Monday, December 4 to ask for their help.
Vice-president Larry Coney says they currently have 14 people actively patrolling the valley on weekends, but they would like to step up the service to be like their counterparts in Carbon.
"It takes about 45 minutes to an hour for the police to respond out in Carbon, so they've set up their own C.O.P. and they have 40 members, very active, and they are working very well in their community," he pointed out. "In Drum, we have 20 members (but) I'd love to see it go to 40 so that we could patrol every night of the week."
Members of the Drumheller group spent 1178 hours patrolling the valley through the end of November, traveling 6655 kilometres in the process. Members are asked to do at least two patrols per month. They are compensated for their fuel, but are otherwise unpaid.
"People going out on patrol, right now they have a little corridor in the old Central School (Elim Pentacostal Church) that is barely heated in the winter time," noted Coney. "They go in there, they have to get everything out of a file box and then they can go on patrol."
They asked the town to find them a permanent home where C.O.P. members can hold meetings and where they can store their stuff. They're asking valley residents to think about joining in the new year.
"I don't know why people don't join," admitted Coney. "People talk about 'we need the police here, we need the police there,' well they can't be everywhere. Why do the public not get involved and become the eyes and ears for the police? All it takes is a phone call to get a policeman to respond to whatever's happening."
To learn more about Citizens on Patrol or to inquire about joining, contact the Drumheller RCMP detachment at 403-823-7590.
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