Citizens on Patrol

The LRIA Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P.) are the "eyes and ears" for law enforcement within our Association district. By patrolling our neighborhood, C.O.P. volunteers become more familiar with the community and are better able to recognize "suspicious" activity and notify the authorities.  

Due to our focused attention, it is not uncommon to observe crimes in progress. C.O.P.'s do not take enforcement action, as our primary duty is to observe and report. Citizen On Patrol volunteers are not authorized to carry weapons and are encouraged to avoid physical contact. COP's greatest weapon is their established bond with local law enforcement and their ability to communicate directly with them by radio or cellular phones with dedicated phone numbers.

The LRIA Citizens on Patrol program is a proud member of NECOP (NorthEast Citizens On Patrol) and serves under the established guidelines and regulations therein.

Click Here to join LRIA's Citizens On Patrol.

About NECOP

The NorthEast Citizens on Patrol is a 600+ member volunteer group committed to helping reduce crime in NorthEast Baltimore. The Patrol is a partnership between HARBEL Community Organization, the umbrella group representing 25 community associations, and Baltimore City's Northeast District Police.

The Patrol grew out of citizens' deep frustration about escalating nuisance, quality-of-life crimes, and their seeming inability in reducing it. The Patrol recruited members and rolled out for the first time in January 2000 and continues today with the enthusiastic support of the current Northeast District Commander.

A command car for the Patrol's use was donated by the Al Packer Ford Enterprises. Funds to erect a communications tower, as well as illuminated rooftop signs which identify each car on patrol, were also donated by Packer Enterprises. The Baltimore Police Department. donated two-way radios when they upgraded their equipment to a different frequency.

The Patrol goes out from 7:30-10:30 pm on assigned routes and reports any concerns directly to the police in the command car via the two-way radio. There is no need to call 911. Response is instant. In addition to an officer in the command car, there is a "chase" police vehicle on patrol as well to respond to emergencies. This allows the Patrol car to remain on the street during the entire shift.

Numerous arrests have been made thanks to the diligence of C.O.P. volunteers -illegal drug distribution, drunk drivers, illegal dirt bikes, thefts, larcenies, and burglaries. It is proving to be an effective method of bringing stability to the neighborhoods and increasing communal participation in activities.

About the Patrol

In 1999, several individuals brainstormed on how they could jointly work to prevent crime in Northeast Baltimore. At the meeting, the concept of forming a citizens' patrol in Northeast Baltimore was born. In the model that evolved, a police officer dedicated to the Patrol operates its Command Car and citizen volunteers patrol a designated area, normally the neighborhood they live in.

Citizens operate their personal cars with, or without, lighted signs magnetically affixed to the auto's roof. Participants use a two-way FM radio communicate with the Command Car. Suspicious activity is relayed to the Command Car via the radio. The officer operating the Command Car either responds to the incident and rectifies the issue; summonses other on duty police from the patrol division to abate the problem, or records the information and relays it to the appropriate investigative unit for action. This eliminates the necessity of calling 911, and it results in a swift response to problems identified by Patrol members.

The concept of the NECOP was marketed to the communities within the target area. 18 decided to be a part of the NECOP. In January of 2000 the NECOP rolled out to the acclaim of the local media and elected officials. The NorthEast Citizens' Patrol has expanded to cover over 20 communities. It has over 600 members. It is now the largest existing C.O.P. on the East Coast.

Since 2000, no participating member of the NECOP has suffered any sort of retaliation for participating in the Patrol. Nationally, the National Association of Citizens on Patrol advises no participating member of a COP has suffered any sort of retaliation for participating in a COP.

The Patrol's efforts have resulted in a 36% reduction in violent crime in Northeast Baltimore since 1999, and a 32% reduction in property crime in Northeast Baltimore over the same period.

The NECOP is a consistently visible outward sign from the neighborhood that the community will not accept criminal behavior. People patrolling their area in an overt manner clearly send a message to potential criminals that the neighborhood will not permit criminal activity within its boundaries. The NECOP patrols every Thursday, Friday, and every other Saturday night. We meet at the Northeast District at 1900 Argonne Drive at 7:30 PM each night.

How the Patrol Works

Patrol members gather at the Northeast District Police Station for an update before each shift. The Patrol goes out from 7:30 to 10:30 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. One of the officers from the Community Relations Division briefs the volunteers and issues each member their post's bag of equipment. The bag contains a map of their area and a notepad for maintaining a log of events, as well as any other supplies individuals may need. Members may pick up their illuminated sign (optional), before exiting the station and affix the sign to their cars rooftop.

After a numbered call-in to assure that all vehicles are ready to begin the eveningĂ­s shift, cars exit the station and proceed to their assigned post. Usually the post is the member's own neighborhood. This system provides extensive coverage, as members are most familiar with their own and immediate surrounding neighborhoods. In addition to the neighborhoods, assignments include the two commercial corridors. This shift pays special attention when there are shoppers present to assure their safety going to and from their vehicle.

Our commitment to crime reduction is PRIORITY!

Please JOIN OUR TEAM TODAY.

All residents welcome.

Click Here to join LRIA's CITIZENS ON PATROL!

Please note that the LRIA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All proceeds generated from Association activities are exclusively reinvested back into the LRIA community.