Local News

Fayetteville COPs to Assist Officers

Posted June 19, 2007 5:10 p.m. EDT

— The Fayetteville Police Department will put 22 volunteers on the street in August to help full-time officers fight crime.

The civilian volunteers, part of the Citizens on Patrol, or COP, program, are undergoing 60 hours of training before hitting the streets on Aug. 27.

They will be armed with radios and will patrol key areas of Fayetteville in pairs in a marked car, police said.

"When we have citizens behind us, we can get a lot done," Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine said.

The COP program is a nationwide effort that's been in effect for more than 20 years. Durham, Charlotte and Forsyth County have similar programs in North Carolina.

A $9,000 grant from Purolator helped start the Fayetteville program.

In April, Fayetteville became the first city in North Carolina to hire civilian investigators for vehicle crashes to to keep sworn officers from getting bogged down with minor accidents.