Currently boasting a membership of more than 20 members, the volunteers routinely perform a wide variety of support functions for the Department. Among those duties are: handling traffic control at traffic collisions, conducting close patrols of vacation residences and businesses, responding to stray and injured animal calls, issuing handicapped and parking citations, maintaining crime scene security, and conducting appeal hearings for impounded vehicles for the Traffic Division. Citizens On Patrol contributed nearly 5,600 volunteer hours in 2018.
While the primary function of Citizens On Patrol is to patrol the streets of Palm Springs in fully equipped marked vehicles and act as the "eyes and ears" of the Department, many special traffic details are also handled by the volunteers. Palm Springs has many parades, road races, and special events throughout the year. Other assignments have included surveillance details and neighborhood radar speed monitoring.
Of particular value to the Department is an emergency call out procedure used to mobilize Citizens On Patrol volunteers during major traffic collisions, hazardous material spills, missing persons, extreme weather conditions, structure fires, or any crisis. A volunteer staff member can be reached 24 hours per day by pager. The staff member then mobilizes the required volunteers in a matter of minutes. This frees uniformed officers to patrol the city and respond to emergencies. Citizens On Patrol also administers the Project Lifesaver program at the Department. This program equips individuals who wander and become lost with a device that allows rapid location of the missing person. Over a 12 month period, 5 recoveries were made using Project Lifesaver.
Citizens On Patrol volunteers must be at least 18 years old, possess a valid California driver license, complete the thirteen-week Community Police Academy and be physically capable of performing C.O.P. duties. A fifty-hour training regimen conducted by the Citizens On Patrol staff members is provided. Members are required to contribute at least 12 hours per month, and attend a minimum of eight monthly meetings per year.
The Palm Springs Citizens on Patrol Program is seeking new members. If you are interested in helping your community in an exciting and significant program, C.O.P. membership may be for you.
You will work side by side with law enforcement officials preserving the welfare and safety of the citizens of Palm Springs. You will receive specialized training in many areas of law enforcement and will patrol the streets of the City.
- Attend the Palm Springs Police Department Community Police Academy
- Have a valid California driver's license.
- Pass a background check.
- Complete a training regimen given by the Citizens on Patrol volunteer staff.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this highly respected organization, complete a Citizens On Patrol Application. You can fill it out on your computer, then simply print it and return it to the Palm Springs Police Department during regular business hours.
For more information, contact the Citizens on Patrol office at (760) 323-8149 or one of the following: