In Colleyville, community residents have a chance to join ranks with the police department through the Citizens on Patrol program.
Graduates of the community's Citizens Police Academy are able to join the group, which serves as volunteer manpower and eyes and ears for the department, Colleyville Police Sgt. Greg Prewitt said.
"It's amazing what they do for us," Prewitt said.
For example, COP volunteers man phones during warrant roundups, Prewitt said. The academy graduates also work traffic control and block streets to free up police officers during events such as Colleyville's annual Red, White and Sousa event and Christmas holidays celebrations. Prewitt said COP volunteers help to make events run more smoothly and handle tasks that "chew up the time a police officer has to ensure the safety of the participants."
Two departmental police patrol vehicles are manned by COP volunteers, as well, who drive them throughout the community supporting patrol efforts without participating in enforcement actions, Prewitt said.
"I wish we had enough participation and vehicles to where they were out every day, 18 hours a day," Prewitt said. "Especially on weekends when business gets heavy."
COP volunteers attend departmental briefings, which coordinate where officers will be focused and where enforcement efforts are being consolidated at any given time, Prewitt said.
"They help us in ways we can't even really go into detail about," Prewitt said. "Some of the programs they are involved in we like to keep quiet—sensitive areas in crime prevention."
Colleyville held the first regional meeting of COP organizations from throughout north Texas in May, offering full-day training and information-sharing, he said.