In recent years, the City of Bartow and all of the departments associated with the City Commission have put together a strategic plan.
One of the goals and objectives established by the police department was a volunteer program. We thought that the most logical place to start was the Citizens Police Academy and its graduates. February 2012, we launched our first citizen volunteer program.
An old police car was painted to be put on patrol by volunteer citizens. “Citizens On Patrol” (COP) was adopted as their name. COP volunteers, normally working with a partner, patrol the city during daylight hours to increase visibility, report suspicious activity, and complete House Watch Orders. During the holiday season this year, COP will be extending their patrolling times to include nighttime patrols. Volunteers are furnished with training, equipment, uniforms and I.D. badge so they may be easily identified by the public.
The mission of COP is to enhance the individual and collective safety of all the citizens of Bartow by assisting the Bartow Police Department in deterring crime in our neighborhoods. Since February, our volunteers have logged over 600 hours of volunteer work and service to our community. The BPD offers other volunteer options as well, such as clerical work and “reserve” police officers. All of these individuals provide their expertise, and labor to our residents at no cost to taxpayers for their time and efforts-strictly for the love of our city.
Additional volunteer opportunities exist with the agency. If you are interested or would like to know more about the programs offered by the BPD, contact our volunteer coordinator Lyn Bryan at 863-534-5034.