Citizens on Patrol could be back on the road as early as May 1.
Cpl. Brian Evans of the Keremeos detachment along with Ben Gumm, who served locally on Citizens in Patrol for more than 15 years are working towards restarting the volunteer organization.
“I think that the group can contribute very well for our community especially when we have limited manpower on in the evening and it gives us that extra set of eyes and ears and people will know they’re out there,” Evans said.
Citizens on Patrol in Keremeos was forced to fold more than three years ago because of a lack of volunteers.
Gumm, who was part of the organization since 2001, said volunteers aged and new people didn’t join to fill in the gaps.
“It would be nice to get it up and running again, but we definitely need new blood. When I first joined we had over 30 members and it wasn’t a burden on anyone,” he said.
Previously Citizens on Patrol would be out on the roads Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. doing a variety of tasks.
He noted there were several years mailbox break ins were a big concern for the area.
“We kind of patrolled where there was mailboxes in Olalla and Cawston and on River Road and we would keep an eye out for damaged mailboxes,” he said. “We’d also notice while driving around if garage doors were left open. Sometimes at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. or 11 p.m. and midnight we’d find somebody left their garage wide open and the lights on. They were just asking for someone to steal something.”
The volunteers on patrol would give a quick call to dispatch with the address and they would contact the residents to let them know.
“They’d just forgot. Maybe they were out there working and went in and forgot to come back out and close it up. They’d come out and say thank you, thank you, thank you so that felt pretty good,” he said.
The group was involved in speed watches on the highways outside of town. They would clock speeders and take their license plate down and with the help of officers at the detachment a warning letter would be sent out telling the motorist how fast they were driving and what the charges and fines could have been if pulled over by police.
The group also ran a stolen auto recovery program where they punched in license plates using a tablet and could find out right away if the vehicle was stolen.
Those interested in volunteering need to complete a criminal record check. Volunteers are not paid but their gas is reimbursed.
An information session is being planned for sometime in April for anyone interested in volunteering.
Anyone who wants further information can contact the Keremeos RCMP detachment 250-499-5511 or contact Ben Gumm 250-499-0216.