Friday, October 30, 2020

Congratulations to our DPS COPS Award Winning Volunteers

Members of the Southlake Department of Public Safety Citizens on Patrol (COPs) are the best volunteers around and a tremendous asset to the City of Southlake and DPS.  That’s why it gives us great pleasure to salute our COPs organization and volunteers who received three out of three awards for nominations recently submitted to the Texas Citizen on Patrol Association. There were more than 32 police agencies represented and 200 attendees at the TCOPA Awards Banquet this past weekend. Southlake COPs received Honorable Mentions for:

  • COP Association of the Year (Small agency category – under 30,000)
  • Thomas Windham Award – Cindy Robinson
  • Coordinator of the Year – Robert “Bob” Gray

Our citizen volunteers serve as the additional eyes and ears for Southlake’s Department of Public Safety.  They put in countless hours patrolling neighborhoods, helping with traffic control during City of Southlake events including: National Night Out, The Safety Fair and Art in the Square just to name a few. These events can draw crowds of 25,000 or more people. The support and contributions of these volunteers help to reduce crime and are an invaluable resource to our officers, firefighters and the City.

Our volunteers are some of the most dedicated individuals you will ever find.  Everyone at the City of Southlake and the Department of Public Safety are so proud of the Honorable Mention winners and all of our volunteers.  “We hope that you know how much we appreciate you and that you are truly an asset to our Department,” said Police Chief Stephen Mylett.

Cindy Robinson is a great ambassador for the COPs program and volunteers in so many ways. She recently explained why the program is so “near and dear to her.” Cindy decided to become a volunteer after her two young daughters were involved in a home invasion and then later a medical crisis.  Her contact with Southlake DPS First Responders who came to her aid left an indelible mark.  She was so impressed by the quality of service and care that she received from members of Police and Fire Services that she decided she wanted to give back to the department and her community.  She attended the annual DPS Citizen’s Academy class seven years ago and hasn’t slowed down since.

Cindy puts in almost as many volunteer hours as a full-time employee and serves as our professional photographer taking thousands of pictures of police officers and firefighters in action as well as pictures at numerous Southlake community events. Her tireless dedication and ongoing support of this agency is second to none. Chief Michael Starr said, “Cindy has taken incredible pictures at fire scenes even during late evening and early morning hours on her own time.  We appreciate our volunteers and all of their efforts and that in turn helps us to continue to raise the bar as first responders.” Cindy never hesitates to volunteer and initiate projects at DPS and she always does it with that big beautiful smile of hers. She is so deserving of the Honorable Mention for the Thomas Windham Award, and all that it represents, for her tireless volunteer efforts and outstanding community involvement.

Robert “Bob” Gray, who received the Honorable Mention Award for COPs Coordinator of the year, was instrumental in coordinating the Citizens on Patrol program for many years.  His tireless dedication and technical expertise have advanced our program beyond our initial vision. During his service as a coordinator, he wrote the computer program that allows the department to track volunteer hours and he also assisted in the training of new volunteers.  Bob’s contribution raised the bar on volunteerism and advanced our volunteer program into the 21st century.  Bob continues to volunteer and has passed along his knowledge and expertise to our current coordinator Jim Shirey who is also a very passionate member of COPs.  Jim spends countless hours as a volunteer, not only serving the community but also helping to coordinate and train new members.  Jim is serving his fourth year with DPS.

The Texas Citizen on Patrol Association (TCOPA) is a non-profit organization created in 2008 to help citizens partner with local law enforcement agencies. Since its inception, TCOPA has helped Citizens on Patrol organizations across the state to become more organized, better trained and provided valuable resource sharing to help reduce crime in local communities.

Congratulations to our volunteers!  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer our next thirteen week class begins next month. Citizen Academy volunteers learn a great deal and get a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to see the inner workings of police and fire services including experiencing a “smoke out” and a trip to the gun range for training.  Contact our Community Initiatives Officer Renni Burt at 817-748-8349 to sign up now.  Space is limited.