Citizens on Patrol
Citizens on Patrol (C.O.P.s) is a community-based organization relying on citizens to assist the Blackfoot Police Department, and their community, by patrolling business districts and residential neighborhoods in their vehicles looking for crime, safety hazards, parking problems, ordinance violations and other potential problem areas of the City. Citizens volunteer their time to provide this service to the community.
The City of Blackfoot City Council approved funding to establish Citizens on Patrol. Once established, funding for the program comes from grants and private donations.
Citizens on Patrol assist the police department by patrolling school after hours, conducting traffic surveys, enforcing handicapped parking violations, monitoring re-occurring graffiti sites, patrol areas of current department interests, checking storage facilities for any unusual activity, observing criminal activity and contacting the police when assistance is needed. They assist in most all funeral escorts within Blackfoot City limits. Citizens on Patrol or subject to call out to assist with traffic control, perimeter containment/scene security, and/or other duties requested by department leadership.
Citizens on Patrol are equipped with patrol cars designated and marked with C.O.P. graphics, police radios, flashlights, notebooks, security lock tags, and personal cell phones. Citizen patrollers are “to observe, record and report” activity to on-duty police officers. The police officer’s then investigate and act on the information given to them by Citizens on Patrol. They patrol for up to 8 hours with two members in a vehicle. Each team sets the amount of time they spend patrolling ranging from 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
Our Citizens on Patrol program is designed for involvement of persons over the age of 21. All applicants must pass a background and driver’s license check, after which an interview with Citizens on Patrol Captain or Lieutenant. Citizens on Patrol spend up to 14 hours in training prior to patrolling. They attend monthly one-hour organization meetings where criminal trends and needs are discussed. Continued training is provided during most meetings. Citizens on Patrol are not to arm themselves and are trained to observe, document, report and not become involved in physical contact with potential suspects, victims, or witnesses.
Citizens on Patrol have a Captain, who reports to a Liaison Officer. Citizens on Patrol Captain is Alan Martin. The two Lieutenants Glen Morgan and Steve Crutcher who report to the Captain and/or Liaison Officer if needed. The Liaison Officer is a member of the Blackfoot Police Department and receives direction from the Captain and Chief of Police; this duty is currently assigned to Sergeant Todd Myler. This is the leadership of the program and guides the Citizens on Patrol organization. There are approximately 10 members currently volunteering their time as Blackfoot C.O.P.s.
We invite you to contact the Blackfoot Police Department to receive additional information about the C.O.P. program.