(ROCKWALL, TX) If you’ve ever seen one of these patrol vehicles around Rockwall and wondered who’s behind the wheel, it’s a member of the Rockwall Police Department’s Citizens on Patrol (C.O.P.) – citizen volunteers who either live or work in the City of Rockwall and have successfully completed the Citizens Police Academy and a C.O.P. mini training academy. The program, which currently comprises over 50 active members, serves to bring together citizens and the police department in a cooperative effort to make our city safer.
“Some of the duties that the Citizens on Patrol perform is wrecker/tow truck standbys. This helps free up an officer to resume patrol by not having to wait on a tow truck arrival at a scene of a crash or a disabled motorist,” explained Sergeant Steve Brassil, Community Services Division. “They also perform vacation watches for Rockwall residents that are out of town. They visit the home several times during their shift. They also assist the police department in searching for lost children or the elderly that may have gone missing.”
In addition to normal patrol duties, COP members have assisted during parades, concerts, high school football games, 4th of July celebrations, and numerous special events.
Brassil added, “The volunteers are very special and mean a lot to the men and women of the Rockwall Police Department. They are part of the team and work together with us to achieve the same goal of providing the citizens of Rockwall a safe environment to live and work.”
The Rockwall Police Department recently hosted its annual Volunteer Banquet to show their appreciation to its citizen volunteers. From December 16, 2018 To December 15, 2019, volunteers performed an impressive 5832.40 hours of service for the City of Rockwall, with an estimated savings to the city of $212,824.28.
Among those honored:
250 Hour Award
500 Hour Award
1500 Hour Ruth Fitzwater Award
2000 Hour Award C. F. Pratt Award
2500 Hour Randy Carothers Award
Top COP Award
Mark Vancil – 518 hours
COP Patrol Pacesetter
Robert Beaumont – 366 Hours
Explorer Sgt. Ty Webb- 500 Hours
Explorer Corporal Aidan Murrey-300 Hours
Explorer of the Year- Corporal Liam Schefferstein
COP Memorial Plaque 2019
Gregory Bachman No. 109
Tony Harris No. 8
Randy Carothers No. 103
Ruth Fitzwater No. 42
Hugh McFarlin No. 56
Marilyn Hickman No. 23
John Fitzwater Sr. No. 41
Allen Christian No. 86
Norman Seligman No. 63
Here are some photos from Volunteer Banquet Awards:
Potential COP members must be at least 21 years of age, with a valid driver’s license and no Class A or B misdemeanor convictions nor felony convictions. Each applicant must a thorough background examination and interview process.
By Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News. Photos courtesy of Rockwall Police Department for publication in Blue Ribbon News.
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