The California State Automobile Association awarded a giant $5,000 check to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office Citizens on Patrol (COPs) on Monday. Sheriff John Anderson, 13 citizens on patrol volunteers and a deputy met with five employees from AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah at the sheriff’s office to accept the check.
Citizens on Patrol is a strictly volunteer organization started by Anderson in 1999. Its mission is to serve the community by helping law enforcement. Volunteers conduct traffic control, search and rescue missions, house checks for homeowners on vacation and for the elderly. Some are trained as first responders. The work they do requires extensive training and certification, which is funded by the volunteers themselves. Citizens on Patrol members also pay for their own uniforms.
The program has received numerous state awards since its inception, and Anderson said the program is nationally recognized. He calls the team of nearly 40 volunteers “the department’s second set of eyes and ears.”
Whereas sheriff’s deputies must patrol nearly 3,000 square miles of Madera County, COPs focus on specific neighborhoods, including areas in Oakhurst, North Fork, Coarsegold and Bass Lake, he said...