COP Members A Valuable Resource For The Community
DESOTO – Sometimes an extra set of eyes and ears really can make a difference.
The City of DeSoto’s Citizens On Patrol (COP) program is just that and more.
City of DeSoto Patrol Lt. Christopher Huerta, a liaison over the C.O.P’s Patrol program said COP’s was founded in 1992 and has undergone numerous changes since that time.
“The COP program allows individuals to be actively engaged with the police department,” Huerta explained. “It gives them the opportunity to volunteer their time, which gives back to the community. The COP programs also allows citizens to better understand how the police department operates and allows them to get to know the officers who are patrolling their community.”
COP members are required to patrol the neighborhoods at least four hours per month and report any suspicious activity via radio to dispatch. All interested COP program applicants must fill out an application, which can be obtained at the DeSoto Police Station front desk at 714 E Beltline Road.
- One must live or work in Desoto
- Be 21 years old or older
- Hold a valid Texas Driver’s License
- Be of good moral character and pass a criminal background check
- Must be able to sit/stand/bend/ and lift medium weight objects
- Must be able to see and hear as required by the department
- Must pass a Review Board made up of Desoto Police Officers
- Must successfully complete the Citizen Police Academy within one year, but you can become a COP before attending the Academy.
Classes are currently one on one and there is no scheduled time according to Huerta, but training starts immediately upon acceptance.
Overall, the DeSoto Police Department handles formal training, but the DeSoto PD Field Training COP’s give the specialized training that is also mandatory as is attending monthly briefings.
Reporting City Code Violations
The COP’s have two patrol units assigned to them as well as police radios. COP members recently began using the City’s GO REQUEST system to report City Code violations in support of Code Enforcement. Additional duties of the COP’s are assisting the police department at city functions and football games, run the graffiti abatement program and help with critical missing person searches in some cases.
“Our COPs are a valuable resource to the DeSoto Police Department. They assist our officers in patrol, traffic control at special events and overall community safety,” concluded DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa. “The hours that they volunteer provides support to our officers and the city reaps the benefit of their work that does not affect our budget. I appreciate and value every one of our COPs.”