The Citizens on Patrol program offers interested residents a volunteer opportunity to partner with the Sandy Springs Police Department. This popular program allows citizens, who have received advanced training, the opportunity to assist at traffic accident scenes to direct traffic, assist public works by directing traffic at work sites, participate in traffic control at public events, and conduct residence and business checks when the owners are out of town. These volunteers attend the Citizen’s Police Academy and then participate in an additional 12-week course specifically tailored to train them in the following areas:
- Instruction in traffic control and traffic direction
- Briefings regarding crime analysis, patterns and trends, as well as areas where crime is particularly high, requiring extra patrols
- Instruction in first aid and the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED)
- Criminal investigation, defensive tactics, and verbal judo
- Training to issue handicapped parking violation tickets ensuring our citizens who are handicapped have access to the designated parking spaces
A highlight of the training program is the Citizen on Patrol Vehicle Operations Course (COPVOC). This course is an 8-hour series designed to familiarize the COPs with the features and capabilities of the vehicles they will be operating. The course consists of braking drills, driving in reverse exercises, and a specially designed cone course which tests their skill in moving a car within a tightly confined space.
The COPs team patrols as two-person units in specially marked police cars which strongly resemble the vehicles utilized by sworn officers. The patrols utilize the same radio system as sworn officers and communicate with the same city-wide 9-1-1 system as the sworn officers.
The COPs wear a uniform which projects their image and authority, but it is not a police uniform.