Information on Citizens On Patrol Program Presented

Pictured above: Pat Dietrich, chairperson of Roblin COPP and Twyla Ludwig, Roblin COPP member and Secretary-Treasurer of Manitoba COPP answer questions from attendees.

ValleyBiz Story | On Thursday, January 16, 2020 a presentation was held at the Veterans Community Hall to provide information about the Citizens On Patrol Program (COPP). The COPP objective is to work with law enforcement and partners to prevent crime and create a safer environment for all.

Increasing crime levels are becoming a serious concern for Swan River businesses, residents and Town Council. “We have seen, over the past year and maybe a little bit more, increases in crime and in particular to the small theft and to large extensive theft which is quite concerning.” said Town of Swan River Mayor, Lance Jacobson. “We need to work together as a community to fight crime and we must work with the RCMP, organized groups, and with your council to solve these issues.” he said.

Twyla Ludwig, a member of the Roblin COPP and Secretary-Treasurer of Manitoba COPP provided an overview of the program. With a focus on Deterrence, Education and Awareness, COPP members focus on patrolling, observing, noting and reporting. Emergency situations are reported by calling 911 while other suspicious activity is reported at the end of the shift. Statistics are used to identify problem areas that may require additional attention.

RCMP Sergeant Steve Henson explained the COPP is still a work in progress in Swan River, but welcomed the opportunity to work together with the community. “We also have to look at, beyond the CCP but as a community, root causes – socioeconomic, homelessness and basically drugs, and it goes on.” he said. “One thing you have to keep in mind too, is our crime severity index is fairly high.”

“The crime levels in Swan River are probably at crisis level.” said Jason Sakal, a local business owner and former Town of Swan River Councillor. “I know that we need to come together as a community and work on this problem together,” he said ” I wish this place would have been full and there could be some brainstorming.” he added.

The local program is being headed up by Town of Swan River Councillor David Moriaux who identified the following as the next steps to set up a Swan River COPP:

- have potential members express interest
- set up an executive
- fulfill administrative requirements (liability insurance etc.)
- create policies & procedures
- gather applications
- perform criminal records checks
- complete the screening process
- receive training
- start patrolling

Individuals interested in the Swan River COPP can contact David Moriaux at or 204-447-7010.