“Citizen On Patrol” Program Starts Sept. 1st
LIBERTY, August 18, 2014 – Beginning on Monday, September 1, 2014, Sheriff Bobby Rader will launch the Liberty County Sheriff Department’s first “Citizen On Patrol” program. Members of the recently graduation class of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAAA), of which all are unpaid volunteers, will be patrolling the county neighborhoods in a vehicle that is clearly marked as a “Citizen On Patrol” Sheriff’s unit.
Left to right: Sheriff Bobby Rader, CPAAA President Faye Cutsinger, Larry Walter, Vernon Byrd and CPAAA Vice President, Ted Smith
Although this is a new program for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, its roots go back to 1977 when the CPA program was developed by the Devon Cornwall, England Constabulary and later adopted by the Orlando, Florida Police Department in the United States. The “Citizen On Patrol” is an offshoot from those programs and is now used by most all law enforcement agencies in our America. Sheriff Rader and District Attorney Logan Pickett co-sponsored the CPA program this year with another class to be started in October.
This Counties CPAAA program is a member of the Region One South East Texas group which includes many of South-East Texas law enforcement agencies which have monthly meetings for additional training and information from the departments represented. This is a vast networking effort which enforces training and fund raising activities that buys equipment for law enforcement agencies who cannot afford some life-saving equipment and it also provides scholarships for the youth of our community.
The CPAAA members are presently undergoing additional driver training and proper radio protocol as well as other training that will be utilized during their time on community patrol. Their primary function will be to “observe and report” and be an additional “set of eyes” for the department’s regular Patrol Division. Although the CPAAA members will have no arrest powers, their observation abilities will be used for vacation home checks, reporting suspicious activity, taking license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles thus allowing the regular Patrol Deputies to respond to “calls for service” and not be tied up with vacation home checks and other patrol observation duties that can better be addressed by these unpaid volunteers.
Due to the acute manpower shortage within the Sheriff’s Department, it is hoped this will be not only a cost saving factor to the department and public tax dollars but a program that will allow the CPAAA vehicle to patrol neighborhoods that are reporting thefts, burglaries and drug activity and observe and report to the dispatcher any suspicious activity observed. At this point a regular Patrol Deputy can be dispatched to that area to back up and handle the suspicious situation or citizen request.
The Sheriff’s vehicle that you will soon be seeing in your neighborhood is a “hand me down” high mileage 1998 Ford Expedition that is radio equipped and will have from two to three CPAAA members on board. These members can be identified by their bright blue polo shirts with the Sheriff’s and D.A. gold star badge logo on the left chest and “Liberty County Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association” in white letters on the back as well as a Sheriff Department issued Identification card with their name and photo on it.
Sheriff Bobby Rader is quoted as saying… “….The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the effort of the volunteers that want to help make Liberty County a safer place to live. The “Citizen On Patrol” will utilize responsible volunteers that have received training to be the eyes and ears for our office. Working together we will make a difference. I sincerely appreciate the dedication of the members of this CPAAA organization.”.
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