Unity looks to restart COP program

Concern over an increased number of reports verbally and on social media posts of suspicious persons and activity in Unity the weeks of Aug 12-25 has ramped up the desire to restart the Unity Citizens on Patrol program.

Through a group page online, a number of people voiced interest in volunteer patrols around Unity to help be the eyes and ears for the police force in either deterring or stopping criminal activity.

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One of the interested citizens was Delta Co-op Home and Ag Manager Lisa Yackobeck. After meeting with RCMP on protocol for patrols, she put a message out that she and Unity businessman Dean Wildeman would host a public meeting to gauge interest and discuss the ins and outs and safety procedures in this program.

A new crime watch page was created as a result of increased suspicious activity being seen and noticed in Unity. There were numerous comments made about residents growing tired of property crime and wanting to be part of patrols and community watches.

Lisa Yackobeck says she can’t take full credit for the resurgence of this program as multiple people had brought it up, however she was the person who approached the RCMP along with Wildeman.

Yackobeck said, “So many people were commenting about driving around Saturday night to be a community watch, and I was one of them. Based on conversations with others on Facebook, I decided it would be a good idea to talk to our RCMP members, with Dean offering to meet me at the station so we could get the ball rolling on COP program in Unity again. We didn’t want to see anyone get hurt and knew we should create an organized plan. Obviously right now it is in planning stages but we are in the process of organizing a community meeting on this topic and will let the public know soon when that will be.”

Unity had a COP program for some time but it ran out of volunteers to run it efficiently and was discontinued in the latter part of 2011. Wilkie has had a COP program for a number of years in their community.

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