The Citizen Observer Program is comprised of community volunteers who help police maintain livable neighborhoods by reducing crime. The City of Orlando recognizes that the cornerstone of Community Oriented Policing is a strong partnership between its citizens and police.
With a grant from the Bureau of Justice Administration, the Citizen Observer Program began in October of 1998. Citizen Observer Program members serve as additional "eyes and ears" of the Orlando Police Department. The C.O.P. members perform crime watch duties and alert the police department of hazards and unlawful behavior. C.O.P. members have no law enforcement authority. Through the increased visibility of its specially marked vehicles, the C.O.P. helps deter criminal activity.
Through this cooperative effort between the police and the public, potential criminals are put on notice that citizens not only support their police department in fighting crime, but are actively working with police to do so. This collective effort will help in the discovery and reporting of crime, as well as in the apprehension of violators of law in Orlando.
The Citizen Observer Program members are trained to observe and report suspected criminal activity, but to never actively confront a situation. Each C.O.P. member is given training that focuses on the C.O.P.'s primary function ... to look and listen only... and what to look for (e.g. signs of burglary, vandalism, suspicious activity). Additional training focuses on reporting procedures.
Requirements for Membership - To be accepted into the program applicants must:
Be at least 25 years of age.
Be in good physical condition and of good moral character.
Possess a valid Florida Driver license and not have an excessive driving violation history.
Complete a volunteer application.
Successfully pass a background and criminal history check.
Successfully pass a Driver Physical including drug test.
Successfully pass a psychological examination.
Successfully pass a polygraph examination.
Successfully pass an oral interview.
Upon completion of training, volunteers donate at least 12 hours per month serving as additional "eyes and ears."
The City of Orlando welcomes inquiries and applications from citizens ready to make a difference.
For additional information and an application, contact:
Orlando Police Department
100 South Hughey Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801