How to Start and Run a COPP Group (Detailed)

Establish an Executive Committee

The following are suggested positions and duties that the groups may consider: (Note: one person can
hold more than one position, if required)

Group Program Coordinator

  • Participate in recruitment and selection of volunteers;
  • Assist in the overall organization of the program;
  • Provide leadership and guidance to the program members;
  • Liaise with the Police Liaison Officer and other members;
  • Liaise with other community groups, stakeholders and Manitoba Public Insurance;
  • Chair meetings;
  • Maintain a list of all current members and provide updated member list to MB COPP along with a signed Letter of Agreement for each member;
  • Arrange member training, as per program policy and procedures;
  • Respond to any media or public relations inquiries;
  • Pass on information provided by the Police Liaison Officer or other members regarding areas for special consideration when patrolling;
  • Maintain equipment inventory and order as necessary;
  • Initiate/organize/implement group fundraising activities;
  • Attend annual COPP Coordinator conference;
  • Provide feedback and volunteer recognition to members

Assistant Group Program Coordinator / Co-coordinator

Support the Program Group Coordinator with the above duties, and act in their absence – i.e. chair meetings and conduct all relevant duties.

Secretary Functions

  • Co-ordinate and maintain schedules, phone lists, mailing lists;
  • Arrange meetings and inform members of dates, times and locations;
  • Attend all Executive and Membership meetings;
  • Assist in agenda preparation and distribution;
  • Prepare and distribute all correspondence as required;
  • Take notes at meetings, prepare minutes, circulate minutes and other notices to members;
  • Maintain the COPP volunteer membership list;

Maintain filing system including:

  • Executive Committee membership list and duties
  • Volunteer membership list
  • Program Forms
  • General information
  • News clippings from local media
  • Public relations documents

Treasurer Functions

  • Responsible for the group’s financial transactions;
  • Maintain a record of all money deposited into the account and payments made from the
    account including any invoices and vouchers;
  • Receive and check bank statements to ensure the balance on the statement corresponds with
    the balance on the running record; and
  • Prepare and submit regular financial reports to the Executive.

Scheduling Coordinator

  • Responsible for scheduling volunteers;
  • Ensure all volunteers are capable of and available to complete their shifts;
  • Maintain scheduling records;
  • Responsible for the coordination, distribution and collection of shift reports;
  • Submit monthly patrol hours and volunteer hours to the Provincial Coordinator via the COPP web site;
  • Submit monthly reports to Executive, including Police Liaison Officer.

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Recruit volunteers through various means such as radio, television, newspaper, posters, presentations, word of mouth and public service announcements;
  • Review applications with the Coordinator and Police Liaison Officer;
  • Maintain list of all trained volunteers and provide copies to the Executive members;
  • Provide recognition to volunteers, along with other Executive members.

Executive Policy and Procedure

The following are suggestions on how to organize your COPP group:


  • Executive Committee meetings should take place once a month (example: the third Thursday
    of each month)
  • Membership meetings are held every three months (example: the second Thursday every
    third month)
  • The quorum for a general membership and Executive Committee meetings should be 25% of the general membership including Executive Committee members.
  • Each Executive Committee member provides a monthly activity report to the Executive Committee.
  • Major decisions should be made in consultation with MB COPP.
  • For assistance in running a meeting, refer to Roberts Rules of Order.


  • The Group Program Coordinator should sign official correspondence on behalf of the group.
  • All media questions are to be referred to the Coordinator, the Police Liaison Officer (if appropriate), or the Provincial Coordinator.
  • Day-to-day decisions on important aspects of the running of the program will be made by the Coordinator, in consultation with the Assistant Coordinator, Secretary-Treasurer and Police Liaison, and will be reported to the Executive Committee at subsequent meetings.


  • All cheques must be signed by two of the three authorized bank signatories. No one can sign a
    cheque drawn in his/her own favour.
  • All payments must be made by cheque. No cash payments of any kind are to be made.
  • Records must be kept in a secure location.

Police Liaison Officer

  • may assist in the organization and guidance of the program along with the group coordinator;
  • Liaise with other community groups, police agencies and Manitoba Public Insurance;
  • May assist in the recruitment of volunteers;
  • May arrange for criminal record searches for volunteers where appropriate;
  • Responsible for all matters regarding the Law; and
  • Review requests and suggestions received by group members, as well as the general public.

Volunteer Recruitment Process

General steps

Each group should tailor its process to what would work best for the group. Not all steps may be required:

  • Interested community members contact their local COPP representative, in response to
    recruitment activities, or after hearing about the program.
  • The community members are provided with information about COPP, including program
    goals, policies and procedures, volunteer’s role and how to join.
  • If they are interested in joining, they are given a volunteer application form, which they
    complete and return to the appropriate COPP representative.
  • Once their application is received, it is reviewed and either approved or declined, based on requirements.
  • If they are approved, the member must apply for a criminal record search coordinated with MB COPP through their local law enforcement agency. (The fee for this is waived for COPP applicants).
  • Once the search is complete, the results must be provided to the program coordinator.
  • The applicant is advised if they have been approved or declined. If approved, the new member is welcomed to COPP and arrangements are made to train them and then complete the necessary paperwork to finalize their membership.

Training will be either:

  • Formal local or regional training (2 – 4 hour training workshop); or
  • One-on-one with local program trainer (review training manual, as well as a patrol shift)
  • At/after the training session, the new member is provided with a Volunteer Training Manual
    and basic patrol equipment.

Paperwork includes:

  • Volunteer Letter of Agreement
    Important – Approved members are required to adhere to all local and provincial standards and
    procedures. Failure to meet these responsibilities may result in a member’s removal from the
  • Shift Procedures
    Every COPP group should outline, in writing, the procedures for starting and ending a shift, so all
    members follow the same procedures to maintain consistency

Contact Us

  • Apply to join the Manitoba COPP for further support
  • Submit Group Registration Application
  • Once approved, sign Group Letter of Agreement