The “Perfect” New Year Resolution- Become a CCOP Patroller

Do you want to get more exercise in 2015?  Do you want to contribute to the Castro / Duboce Triangle community?  Do you want to get to know your neighborhood a little better?  Do you want to meet some new friends?  Would you like to work to improve the community?  If you answer yes to any, or all, of these then signing up as a new Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) volunteer could fit the bill nicely.  Our next new volunteer training class will be held on Saturday January 24th from 1pm to 4:30pm right in the heart of the Castro.  So- what are you waiting for?

CCOP at the 2014 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 35th Anniversary in Golden Gate Park.

CCOP at the 2014 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 35th Anniversary in Golden Gate Park.

O.K…..so a lot of people have a LOT of misconceptions about becoming a CCOP Patroller, and about what we do, so let’s try to correct a few of the inaccuracies out there.

FACT or FICTION:  You need to be young and healthy to join CCOP and patrol the Castro.    FICTION – We are a very diverse group of volunteers from 18 to mid 60’s.  We walk the neighborhood for around three hours, so you do need an ability to do that, but otherwise age is not a factor.  You must be at least 18 years old though, so the “old wives tale” should really be that you can’t be TOO young to patrol. 

FACT or FICTION: You need to patrol once a month.  FACT –  Yup, we do ask that all volunteers patrol at least once a month in one of our regular 3 hour patrols, or meet a minimum of ten patrols in a calendar year.  You can patrol much more than this if you like, but one a month helps us out enormously.

FACT or FICTION:  You need to be a good fighter in order to make arrest and break up fights.  FICTION –  The safety of our Patrollers is our number one priority, so we don’t want any Patrollers involved in fights or making arrests.  There may be very rare exceptions, and we often find our presence and flashlights are enough to actually break up many fights without us having to get physically involved.  We teach volunteers to call on the professionals when things get sticky, as they are trained and equipped to handle it.

FACT or FICTION:  The training to become a CCOP Patroller is “really tough.”   FICTION – At least, it’s kinda’ fiction.  Depends on your outlook I guess 🙂  Our training is multi-tiered and designed to make it accessible to everyone.  You start off by reading our training manual to familiarize yourself with our function and protocols.  You then attend a training class where you go through a “role-play patrol” to use the protocols and skills you just learned.  Finally, you participate in a minimum of four supervised actual street patrols with CCOP in order to be certified as a CCOP Patroller.  Some people certainly find it more difficult than others to complete this process, but we’d argue that it’s far from “really tough.”  Plus, if you never give it a try, you’ll never know for yourself.

FACT or FICTION:  Once you attend training, your committed to Patrolling with them for a year or more.  FICTION – FICTION – FICTION –  Come on, we can’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to, and we understand completely that until you go through our training, or experience your first real patrol, you won’t really know for sure if Patrolling with us is right for you.  We just ask that if you decide Patrolling is not right for you, that you let us know.  We still thing the training and experience you will gain going through the volunteer process will be invaluable to you, whether you remain with CCOP or not.

Any other questions or concerns you have not addressed above.  E-mail them to Info@CastroPatrol.org and we’ll be very happy to answer them for you.

So what are you waiting for.  Try us out.  You never know, you may LOVE Patrolling.  Click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button to pre-register for our next volunteer training class on January 24th and become one of our newest CCOP Patrollers.

 

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