"Citizens On Patrol" Provides Valuable Work At Pitt Co. Sheriff's Office

Breaking and enterings and other criminal behavior are keeping deputies busy in Pitt County, but they say volunteer deputies are making their jobs a little easier.

The volunteer program "Citizens on Patrol" has been going on for the past ten months at the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.

Many of the volunteers work in the detention center or in the office, doing fingerprinting, or checking serial numbers on items brought into pawn shops. With their work in-house, more deputies can be out on the roads patrolling.

Lieutenant Kip Gaskins says the program does more than just curb crime, it's also been a morale boost to their deputies to have "everyday citizens" work with them to cut down on crime.

Sheriff Neil Elks says the sheriff's office lost about $100,000 in part time funds from their budget, so the 19 volunteers have filled that void with providing more than 800 hours in the department.

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  • by Chris Location: OBX on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM
    I like this, if a citizen is on patrol and gets into a situation and beats a few heads in, he or she is much more likely to get away with it and not worry about their job! outstanding. Plenty of heads need bashing in that Pitt Co area.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jan 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM
    Judas priest did a song about that. "Hell Patrol"
  • by Java on Jan 11, 2012 at 07:34 AM
    The COP concept has been around for years all over the country. We are fortunate that Greenville and Pitt County have decided to institute such programs to put more eyes and ears on the street and relieve the officers from the more mundane calls although important but not as important as responding to shootings and assualts. Both programs do background checks and have training programs in place. There is a need for more qualified citizens that want to give back to their community in a positive way. Is it helping the community reduce crime that's hard to say but the high visibility and random nature of the patrols may make a would be thief go some where else. Ask the stranded motorist on the side of the road that just hit a deer if they feel a little more secure when they see the CP car pull behind them with their safety lights on and wait with them until the Trooper arrives. A Deputy on patrol doesn't have the luxury of being able to wait with them because they are off to another call. There is so much out there that people can do to help their community and neighbor. When was the last time you asked your neighbor if you could help them clean up or fix something on their home because they were unable to do it them selves. What can you do to make your community a better, safer and more enjoyable place to live. The benefits far out weigh the costs.
  • by Luis Location: Greenville on Jan 11, 2012 at 05:31 AM
    Law enforcement can only do so much. Too many people see crime everyday and are too scared to report it. Take care of your neighbourhood people , you can't expect someone else to.
  • by WOW on Jan 11, 2012 at 05:29 AM
    Crime rate down, very interesting. Does Beaufort County have Citizens On Patrol? Sounds like a win win solution for crime. If Beaufort County doesn't have COP why not?? What does it take to be a volunteer?
  • by Anonymous on Jan 10, 2012 at 09:25 PM
    Many of the volunteers work in the detention center or in the office. If you get paid to do a job with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. You Can not volunteer. NC labor laws. " a person who is an employee cannot "volunteer" his/her services to the employer "
  • by Replying Location: Greenville on Jan 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM
    Elks did put more deputies on the street as promised. He created positions that were voluntary such as the citizens on patrol. You can put any more folks on the street when the budget isn't there. If you want to know where everything went, then take a guided tour through the office. Go through the courthouse, the jail, the identification unit, and the narcotics office. Know before you blow!
  • by Just Saying Location: greenville on Jan 10, 2012 at 06:30 PM
    Maybe if he would put more officers on the street as he promised during the election, and stop creating positions just as he claimed the last sheriff did. Then just maybe then We wouldn't need citizens on patrol. I'm just saying.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 10, 2012 at 05:27 PM
    I think this may sound good on its face, however, I don't think people realize the liability being placed upon Pitt County government. Additionally, you have unarmed, untrained individuals giving the appearance of trained, armed, sworn deputies. Now, with recent coverage by media, criminals know there is a vehicle present with individuals who can do absolutely nothing.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Jan 10, 2012 at 05:08 PM
    Do they screen the volunteers? Just askin'...

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