For almost 12 years now a quiet group of volunteers have been donating their time to make sure the streets of Golden are safe.
The Citizens on Patrol have been out until 3 a.m. every weekend, operating as an “extra pair of eyes” for the local law enforcement.
“At the time (when the group was formed) we saw that there was quite a bit of vandalism and graffiti. Communities in Bloom had planted all these flower boxes, and they were, on a regular basis, getting thrown out onto the street. Just general vandalism, that was one of the main reasons for getting this started,” said Chris Hambruch, a longtime volunteer and one of the founding members.
The group, which currently has around eight members, goes out on patrols in groups of two, mainly on the weekends, for shifts that usually go from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
In the years that Citizens on Patrol has been out in the streets, members have caught a few vandals in the act. But the group seems to have more of a preventative presence.
“It’s tough to say, but I think it’s making a difference,” said Martin Wilson, volunteer and head of the Citizens on Patrol board.
“There’s enough people in town who know our vehicles now, and they see us driving around, and quite often we’ll just see people moving along after they see us. Quite often it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”
They used to use a Chevy pick-up that had RCMP striping on it, but volunteers tended to prefer to use their own vehicles.
“I think it’s as much of a deterrent for that sort of thing because they know we’re there,” said Hambruch.
The group provides a community service, but the members enjoy the work as well.
“It can be quite entertaining. You get to see some of the night time antics, and frivolity that goes on in the community,” said Hambruch.
The Citizens on Patrol are always looking for more volunteers.
The process of joining is fairly simple, you can pick up an application at the RCMP detachment, then there’s a background check, and interview, and three training shifts. After that, you’re part of the club.
Anyone with more questions about the Citizens on Patrol can email Hambruch at firstname.lastname@example.org.