Last Updated May 23, 2005

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Welcome and thank you for your interest. The purpose of this page is to list Frequently Asked Questions along with answers to them. If you have any question regarding the NACOP or Citizen Patrol Organizations in general please go to our Contact Us page and submit your question or call us. We'll answer your question to the best of our ability and post it for others to see if appropriate. Your name will NOT be referenced in any way on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Question: What are Citizens On Patrol?
Answer:  Citizens on Patrol are adult volunteers that work together within a Citizen Patrol organization in their community to assist and support law enforcement in the reduction of crime.

Question: Are Citizen On Patrol members of law enforcement?
Answer: Yes and No.  Generally speaking Citizen Patrol  volunteers donate their time to work with a Citizen Patrol organization within a specific city. The Citizen Patrol organization may or may not be directly associated with the cities law enforcement department. Most Citizen Patrol organizations do work with or are unpaid volunteers within a specific law enforcement organization. To clarify, there are three basic types of organizations. First; a Citizen Patrol organization that is directly started and funded by a law enforcement agency for the specific purpose of assisting that agency with basic functions or functions they may not normally be able to provide such as Traffic Control, Vacation Checks, Regular Welfare Checks on Senior or Disabled Persons, Extra Patrol for areas experiencing Vandalism, Graffiti, Loitering, Car Theft and other non violent crimes. Generally speaking these volunteers would be considered volunteers of that particular law enforcement agency. 
 Second: A Citizen Patrol organization that is started by individuals and is funded by the City to support law enforcement. This example can be found in cities who do not have their own police services and contract out for law enforcement services. In this example it is common for the contracted law enforcement agency to provide a Citizen Patrol Coordinator to work with and help coordinate the activities or both groups.  In this example the volunteers maybe considered at will non paid volunteers of the city. 
  Third:  Less common but no less important are Citizen Patrol organizations who for whatever reason choose to form themselves independent from the city and local law enforcement and must support their own efforts through donations and fund raising. These individual for obvious reasons would not be considered any part of a law enforcement agency.

Question: What is the difference between a Reserve Police Officer and a Citizens Patrol volunteer.
Answer: The only thing in common is that most Reserve Police Officers donate their time although some cities and counties do pay for on duty time. That and the fact they both are working to reduce crime is the only thing in common. Generally speaking, Reserve Police Officers are sworn law enforcement officers who have Peace Office status within their city, county and state.  Depending on the states requirements they attend either a Reserve Officer Academy or full time peace officer academy and are held to the same standards as a full time paid law enforcement officer. Citizen Patrol organizations offer individuals with a great opportunity to experience the field of law enforcement before committing to it and also offer law enforcement departments to see potential hires in their work space.


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