Chelsea COP program carries out 24-hour training exercise

Members of the Chelsea Citizen Observer Patrol now know they have the capability to help protect their city in any time of need.

From noon July 17 until noon on July 18, the COP was on constant patrol throughout the streets of Chelsea for a 24-hour training exercise.

“We wanted to structure the training exercise so we could see our capability to patrol for a continuous 24 hours with both patrol cars on the road,” said COP leader Dale Neuendorf.

The COP squad also established a command post at Chelsea City Hall for the weekend.

Neuendorf said 22 COP members participated in the event, which kept both COP patrol cars out to cover a total of 633 miles for the full 24 hours.

The members made 144 patrols through Chelsea subdivisions and patrolled in front of, behind or walked through businesses 657 times. They also patrolled through Chelsea churches, schools and parks 56 times.

Neuendorf said he felt the training exercise was a success.

“We verified some things that we felt like we already knew,” Neuendrof said. “We learned some things about our capabilities and additional things that we would want to focus on if we conduct another 24-hour patrol.”

He said the COP accomplished such tasks as establishing a protocol for operating a command center, increasing visibility in the community and gaining experience in communicating over the radio.

The community needs the COP program to be ready to go at any time, Neuendorf said.

“Chelsea does not have a police department. We contract with Shelby County deputies to provide law enforcement,” he said. “The Chelsea COP program provides eyes and ears to assist the Shelby County deputies. We observe and report anything suspicious that we see.”