Bemidji Says Farewell To Citizens Patrol


NHRA NATIONAL THIS PAST WEEKEND.>>>IT’S THE END OF AN ERA IN BEMIDJI AS THE VOLUNTEER CITIZENS PATROL COMES TO AN END. OUR JOSH PETERSON INTRODUCES US TO ITS REMAINING MEMBERS AND SHARES WITH US HOW THE CITY WILL CONTINUE WITHOUT THE LOYAL VOLUNTEERS.>>Reporter: IT WAS BUSINESS AS USUAL AS MONDAY’S BEMIDJI CITY COUNCIL MEETING, BUT THEN CAME THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT A LONG STANDING TRADITION OF A VOLUNTEER SERVICE WOULD COME TO AN END.>>THE BEMIDJI CITIZEN PATROL, BRANCH OF THE BEMIDJI POLICE DEPARTMENT, WILL CLOSE DOWN ITS SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY.>>Reporter: DRESSED IN FULL UNIFORM, THE REMAINING NINE VOLUNTEER MEMBERS OF THE CITIZENS PATROL GAVE A FINAL SALUTE AND SAID FAREWELL, BUT NOT WITHOUT RECEIVING A STANDING OVATION FROM THE CITY COUNCIL. OF THE NINE MEMBERS OF THE PATROL, FOUR OF THEM HAVE BEEN PART OF THE ORGANIZATION SINCE THE INCEPTION OF THE PROGRAM BACK IN 1997 WHEN THEY SAW THE PROGRAM BECOME PART OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY.>>WE GOT AN OLD POLICE CAR THEY GAVE US WITH SIRENS AND EVERYTHING ON IT, RADIOS. WE GOT RADIOS THAT USED TO BELONG TO RAILROADS.>>Reporter: THOSE PART OF THE PROGRAM SINCE DAY ONE, THEY EACH HAD THEIR OWN REASON WHY THEY JOINED.>>RETIRED FROM BSU AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AN INTERESTING SIDE LINE.>>I RETIRED 20 YEARS AGO FROM MY JOB, AND IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I WAS COMING IN AND IT WAS NEW AND IT WAS DIFFERENT AND I DIDN’T WANT TO SIT AT HOME.>>Reporter: IT’S BITTERSWEET FOR THESE VOLUNTEERS. THEY GAVE SO MUCH OF THEIR OWN TIME BUT IN RETURN BECAME A BIG PART OF THE COMMUNITY.>>ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I MET AND THE THINGS I DID FOR THE CITY, I’LL MISS A LOT OF THE GUYS THAT WE’VE GOT WITH US.>>Reporter: WITH THE BEMIDJI CITIZENS PATROL COMING TO AN END, THE CITY OF BEMIDJI IS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO PROVIDE THAT EXTRA SECURITY, THROUGH YOUTH OF THE POLICE RESERVES.>>ONE THING WE DO AS A CITY, WE HAVE A RESERVE OFFICER PROGRAM. I THINK THAT’S GOING TO BE THE EMERGENT SOLUTION HERE.>>Reporter: THE POLICE CHIEF RECOGNIZED EACH MEMBER OF THE CITIZENS PATROL AND THANKED THEM FOR THEIR SERVICE BY PROVIDING A CERTIFICATE AND CHALLENGE COIN. IN BEMIDJI, JOSH PETERSON, LAKELAND NEWS.>>Dennis: THE BEMIDJI CITIZENS

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