Southlake Journal

March 16, 2014

Volunteer patrol groups gather in Colleyville to discuss ideas

About 140 volunteers and officers from 28 organizations attended the regional gathering.

There is no volunteer patrol group that helps keep an eye on Ellis County’s 952 square miles.

That task falls on the shoulders of 35 patrol units, said Deputy Ken Hatcher, community relations and crime prevention officer with Ellis County Sheriff's Office.

Having a volunteer patrol group would be an asset to the county south of Dallas, which is why Hatcher and a partner were in Colleyville Saturday, attending a regional gathering of law enforcement officers and volunteers.

Volunteers are the defnition of community policing, Colleyville Police Chief Mike Holder said.

“We can’t do it by ourselves,” he said.

Hosted by police departments and volunteers from Colleyville and Frisco, representatives from 28 organizations, including Southlake and Keller and from as far away as Greenville and McKinney, gathered to network and trade ideas on how to better serve their communities.

Usually called Citizens on Patrol or Volunteers in Police Service, participants are required to undergo training before hitting the streets to be the eyes and ears of their communities.

Holder deemed Saturday’s meeting a success, saying he had run out of fingers counting the requests his volunteers had made about improving the program.

Southlake COP member Steve McNair said ideas included the possibility of monitoring illegal use of handicapped parking and making calls for outstanding warrants.

He said the volunteer group is hoping to expand its scope to keep its 33 members involved.

“There’s a wide variety of things we can do,” he said.

Frisco COP member Steve Kair said it was great to get “the boots on the street” together.

He said while some groups like his had uniforms, and others just T-shirts, “the common denominator is that we all want to help.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770

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