COP program gets new leader

Published 6:51 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chelsea’s Citizen Observer Patrol program has a new leader trying to accomplish old goals.

Chelsea resident Dale Neuendorf has taken over for Billy Weldon, a four-year leader who chose to step down because of a lack of fresh ideas.

“I’ve run out of new ideas, and it’s time for some new blood to come in,” Weldon said. He said he will continue to work with the program, which handles such duties as directing traffic for Chelsea events and patrolling streets to help the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Neuendorf, who has worked with the COP since 2003, said his biggest goal is to continue the work the program has put into the community.

“Our primary objective is to expand the program to keep Chelsea a safe community and one that is a great place to raise our families,” Neuendorf said.

Neuendorf, who chaired a COP advisory committee last year, said he wanted to put some of the advisory committee’s suggestions to work. He looks to get more training for COP officers and stay involved in as many Chelsea events as possible.

“We’re the eyes and ears for the Chelsea community,” he said. “We’re kind of like the neighborhood watch on wheels.”

Weldon that while heading up the COP, he had hoped to increase membership to around 50 people – something he was never able to do. The membership is currently at 25 to 30.

“We did not grow like I wanted us to,” Weldon said. “I would have loved to have had about 50 people active. Our size community should be able to support that without any problems, and we have not done it.”

Neuendorf plans to tackle that problem head on by looking for ideas to reenergize the recruiting.

“I’d like to have more people patrolling and more people working special events,” he said.

Weldon said since he stepped down, two more applications have been processed for people to join the COP.

“We may be moving up,” he said. “This may be a positive step already.”

Neuendorf took over the job on Nov. 1.

The COP is an organization devoted to watching out for Chelsea citizens. Members of the COP do not take action themselves — they call the authorities if they see any wrongdoing. For more information on working with the COP, contact the Chelsea City Hall at 678-8455.