Sheriff swears in eight new COP volunteers

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson swore in eight new volunteers to the more than 40 member strong unit of Madera County’s nationally recognized Citizens On Patrol.

Anderson hosted a swearing-in ceremony Monday, June 17, in Madera Ranchos where graduates of Class XIX were formally recognized by both the Madera County Board of Supervisors and Senator Anthony Cannella.

Three volunteers will be stationed in Coarsegold, two assigned to the Oakhurst beat, and three more, including the son of a founding member, will patrol the Valley floor.

Angel Romero, Jr., 19, of Chowchilla, is the youngest COP volunteer on the force. His father, Angel Romero, Sr., joined the COPs program in 2000. When Romero Jr.’s sibling joined the military, he decided to become a peace officer. As he prepares for rigorous training in the police academy, Angel is eager to volunteer his spare time to the sheriff’s office and serve as the department’s second set of eyes and ears.

Anderson said COPs have made a huge difference in the way law enforcement makes its presence known in our community.

“They provide an invaluable service, because they know their neighbors and their neighborhoods better than anyone,” Anderson said.

While the role of Citizens On Patrol volunteers is to mainly assist law enforcement, many are FEMA certified — trained to work the front lines as first responders. The job requires extensive training, all of which is funded by the volunteers themselves.

“Our volunteers have made Madera County’s Citizen on Patrol one of the most successful programs in the nation,” Anderson said.