Citizens On Patrol
Are you interested in volunteering your time to help control crime and keep Volusia County a safe place to live, work and play? If you are, the Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P.) program is interested in you.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office C.O.P. program was established to assist deputies in combating crime throughout the county. C.O.P. volunteers patrol neighborhoods to deter crime and act as an extra set of eyes and ears for the law enforcement community. Approximately 140 members are now patrolling in designated areas of Deltona, DeBary and unincorporated DeLand and Orange City on the west side of the county and the North Peninsula of Ormond Beach and the unincorporated Edgewater/New Smyrna area on the east side of the county. The unarmed mobile patrols keep a sharp eye for any suspicious activity and notify lawmen through radios in their vehicles that are used to contact a base station operator. The base station operator then contacts the Sheriff's Communications Center, where deputies are dispatched for response if necessary.
The program has added several new and diverse responsibilities since its inception in 1989. Following the events of 9/11, C.O.P. volunteers have played an increasingly important role in the Sheriff’s Office's homeland security efforts as well as other critical activities. Today, C.O.P. members may find themselves performing many of the following activities.
- Homeland security patrols of critical facilities such as power stations, gas pipelines, and other sensitive installations.
- Traffic control at special community events and emergency situations.
- Assisting at emergency shelters for hurricanes and evacuations.
- Fingerprinting children for family records.
- Distributing the Vial of Life to elderly or disabled members of the community.
- Setting up radar speed-measuring trailers at various locations in the county.
- Providing logistical support such as food and water supplies to Deputies who are on extended crime, search, rescue, or emergency scenes.
- Speaking to Neighborhood Watch groups about patrolling their neighborhood and the C.O.P. program.
The Volusia Sheriff's Office is recruiting new volunteers who want to take an active role in working to help stop crime in our community. Anyone wishing to become a C.O.P. volunteer must apply for membership and undergo a complete background check, including a drug screen, photograph and a fingerprint check.
Training and ID Cards
Upon satisfactory completion of the entry process, each candidate must complete 48 hours of basic training conducted by instructors with the Volusia Sheriff's Office. When the candidates complete their training, they are issued uniforms and a photo identification card. The I.D. cards are renewed annually for all members who volunteer at least 120 hours per membership year.