March 08, 2016 - 5:00 PM
VERNON - If you’re interested in lending your eyes and ears for the betterment of the community, Vernon’s crime prevention office wants to hear from you.
Crime Prevention Coordinator Regan Borisenko says the program has vacancies for six positions in both Vernon and Lumby and is asking anyone interested to apply. The RCMP volunteer program (previously known as Citizens on Patrol) is run under the joint supervision of the North Okanagan RCMP and the Crime Prevention office.
“It offers the community a sense of well-being and safety that there are people out there watching,” Borisenko says.
Some of the duties of an RCMP volunteer include night patrols of the city, speed watch operations, distracted driving initiatives, small vessel safety checks, theft from vehicle prevention and disaster response. The volunteers are not considered auxiliary police officers, a separate program run by the RCMP.
Borisenko isn’t too worried about filling the openings, and says a call-out last year generated 30 applications for half as many positions.
“We had candidates apply from as far away as Peachland,” Borisenko says.
There are currently 54 volunteer members in Vernon and six in Lumby.
Applicants must be between 19 and 79 years of age, have no criminal record, pass a comprehensive security screening by the RCMP and successfully complete the RCMP volunteer training program.
“We get a lot younger people who are wanting to be police officers. This is a great stepping stone for them,” Borisenko says.
In preparation for training, volunteers undergo interviews covering security and program interests. Training involves developing patrol skills, note-taking, court processes, observation skills and incident report writing as well as working with partner agencies such as the RCMP, the bylaws department and ICBC.
After the 18-hour core classroom training, new volunteers complete 36 hours of patrols with RCMP volunteer trainers who will instruct them on the practical aspects of the program.
To find out more about the program or to volunteer, call 250-550-7847.
Application forms can be found here.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016