The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has developed an innovative volunteer program in 2004 to include community members in crime reduction and community improvement. The Citizens on Patrol program is a unique opportunity for citizens to actively assist police officers by relieving some of their workload. There are two classifications within the unit which are Road Patrol and Lake Patrol. Citizens on patrol volunteers wear distinctive uniforms and drive specially marked vehicles. Citizens on Patrol volunteers do not carry weapons nor do they have powers of arrest.
In two-member teams, C.O.P. volunteers are assigned to one of four Patrol Divisions ( North, University City, South, Providence and Steele Creek for their shift. The team performs a number of duties during their patrol including checking for abandoned vehicles and graffiti as well as visiting businesses and residential locations to enforce handicapped and fire lane parking violations. C.O.P. volunteers also patrol parks, schools, businesses, hotels, and residential neighborhoods. Patrol duties include observing and reporting any unusual or suspicious activities to CMPD officers. While on patrol, volunteers can pick up found property, direct traffic at vehicle collisions, and assist disabled motorists.
These special volunteers provide a deterrent to crime and a feeling of security for citizens and visitors by remaining highly visible in the community. Citizens on Patrol do not carry weapons or have powers of arrest. They wear special uniforms and drive vehicles issued by the CMPD so they are easily recognized.
The Citizens on Patrol Lake Patrol volunteers are an extension of our Citizens on Patrol Road Patrol. Patrolling local lakes in specially marked CMPD Volunteer Patrol Vessels volunteers are tasked with the responsibility of promoting water and boating safety and to help prevent crime on our lakes and waterway. Volunteers are assigned to Lake Wylie, Lake Norman and Mt. Island Lake.