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Citizens on Patrol Seeking New Volunteers

MOUNTAIN AREA — The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a few good men — or women — to join its Citizens on Patrol (C.O.P.) team.

C.O.P. is a community volunteer organization created and formed by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.

Trained and uniformed C.O.P. volunteers patrol neighborhoods in marked vehicles to help sworn deputies and assist in deterring criminal activity.

The C.O.P. program operates countywide, under the supervision of a Madera County deputy who coordinates the program.

Each neighborhood works under a team leader who is an active member of the C.O.P. unit. They patrol neighborhoods, including school zones, business areas, churches, parks, traffic control, road closings and assist with events in the county.

The volunteers observe and report suspicious and criminal activity to deputies so appropriate law enforcement action will be taken. Volunteers are able to talk directly with the Madera Sheriff Dispatch.

Volunteers also perform vacation checks on residences and businesses, perform welfare checks for the Madera Sheriff Elder Orphan Program, assist other law enforcement agencies, provide traffic control, and attend community events.

Joining the C.O.P. program is contingent upon the completion of a structured 40-hour Citizen on Patrol Academy, which is conducted by members of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies. Some of the training will consist of First Aid/CPR, defensive driving, radio communications, safety issues, department policies and other areas.

Upon completion of the academy, members must undergo extensive field training before they are allowed to patrol.

Qualifications are as follows: Must be 18 years of age and have a valid California driver’s license. No felony convictions are permitted; misdemeanor convictions are subject to administrative review. Medical waiver completed by physician and ability to successfully complete the 40-hour Citizens on Patrol Academy.

For more information, please stop by the Madera Sheriff’s Office (2725 Falcon Drive), the Oakhurst Substation (48267 Liberty Drive), or contact Corporal Manuel Ramirez (559) 474-1284. Applications are available at both the Madera and Oakhurst stations.

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