By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
Mill Creek Police Chief Greg Elwin gave the Citizens Patrol Oath of Honor to two community volunteers at the September 24, 2019, Mill Creek city council meeting.
As members of the Citizens Patrol; husband and wife Joel and Eileen Goverman received limited police commissions allowing them to write tickets for misdemeanors or infraction level violations.
Before the swearing in ceremony Elwin said, “Our Citizens Patrol Program, which has been resurrected from the ashes a couple of years ago is starting to go strong. We’ve got some excellent volunteers helping us out.”
He went on to say, “We’ll ask our Citizens Patrol volunteers to go out and remind some folks what the parking regulations in this city are. There is an element of enforcement and accountability with our Citizens Patrol volunteers and we’re going to ask them to do these kinds of things. If somebody parks in a handicapped stall that shouldn’t be there, we need to address that.”
The Govermans join Sally Dagna, George DeWitt, and Barbara Heidel; who became Citizens Patrol volunteers in April of this year.
All Citizens Patrol volunteers underwent criminal background and reference checks. As well they are graduates of the ten-week Mill Creek Police Citizen’s Academy where they received training on police operations and procedures such as traffic control, security checks, and investigation of certain traffic or parking-related offenses.
According to Elwin, the ten-week Mill Creek Police Citizen’s Academy is the first step for interested community members who are looking for a way to assist the Police Department, but aren’t ready to become a full-fledged police officer.
The Mill Creek Police Department conducted the third annual Police Citizens Academy this spring.
”The Police Citizen's Academy was an incredibly enriching experience in numerous ways,” said Carmen Fisher, 2018 Citizens Academy cohort member and Police Department volunteer.
She went on to say, “We got to know local law enforcement personnel, with the pleasure of seeing the tremendous character of our officers. The information presented was extensive and valuable, certain to be of lifelong use. And we had a lot of laughs and fun at the same time. This is community policing at its finest. I enjoyed every minute of class, and would highly recommend it.”
Fisher and a number of other Citizens Academy graduates assist the Police Department with crowd control at community events such as the Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades.
Only a few Citizens Academy graduates make the additional commitment to become a Citizens Patrol volunteer, which requires additional training.
Front row (left to right): Joel Goverman, Chief Greg Elwin, Eileen Goverman, Barbara Heidel, and Sally Dagna. Back row: Mill Creek City Council. Photo credit: Meredith Cook.