Happy patrollers:  (L-R) Harvey and Susie Schwartz, Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Dr. Gerry Trager, Peter Kovac

Happy patrollers: (L-R) Harvey and Susie Schwartz, Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Dr. Gerry Trager, Peter Kovac

On Tuesday night the Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol turned out in large numbers to City Hall.  This was not an emergency civil preparedness drill.  To the contrary, this was a festive gathering to thank our dedicated volunteers for their deep commitment in helping to keep our city safe.

Volunteer supervisor Susie Schwartz organized a lovely buffet dinner for the 80 vCOP members who patrol Cote Saint-Luc streets, parks and facilities at all hours of day and night.

Several members were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of hundreds of hours of service during the year as well as for giving extra time to serve as team leaders and supervisors, handling administrative tasks, training of new members, continuing education of existing members, scheduling, vehicle maintenance and much more.

Also in attendance were CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and Manager Jerome Pontbriand along with Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette and his right hand man Lt. J.P. Theoret.

Bissonnette and Theoret have been staunch supporters of the vCOP program and through close collaboration between vCOP, police and CSL Public Security, Bissonnette reaffirmed that Cote Saint-Luc continues to be the safest community on the Island of Montreal.

Mayor Anthony Housefather was on hand to personally thank each vCOP on behalf of Cote Saint-Luc residents.  The mayor has shown continuous support and much enthusiasm for the vCOP program since its inception six-and-a-half years ago.

I saluted the time, effort and passion that our vCOP members contribute to the community.  Our volunteers are unlike any group in Quebec.

Similarly, I had the pleasure of thanking our EMS volunteers at their holiday dinner just a few nights earlier.  EMS troops dedicate hundreds of hours, 24/7, responding to some 3000 emergency medical calls each year.  With enough volunteers at the ready, EMS has even responded to four simultaneous emergencies on several occasions this year.

At the vCOP celebration I also introduced Councillor Ruth Kovac as my partner in crime prevention.  Ruth and I have been actively involved in emergency preparedness for over 30 years.  Her husband, Peter, joined vCOP last year.  Ruth prepared a poetic tribute to the vCOP members as well as to their spouses who give them the time to serve their city.

ODE TO A VCOP (by Ruth Kovac)

Twenty four hours in every day

Where do you go to give some away?

Time is such a precious gift

And yet you come here and do a shift!

Whether it’s Allan, Gerry, Peter or Paul

It’s a rewarding experience for one and for all

Driving a scooter, a van or a bike

It’s your eyes and ears

And your voice

Over the mike

From dispatch you might hear

“A child is lost”

So you summon all the troops

And all this at no extra cost

At Special events your presence

Is so needed

So once again

The request has been heeded

You don your gear

So proud in orange and black

Your heads are held high

There is no turning a back.

You might stand for hours

Watching over the crowd

Our Cote Saint Luc Residents

Can surely feel proud.

It might be boring

Bur never a complaining word

Just “doing the job”

For our wonderful suburb

Friendships have been strengthened while

Being on shift

You have also learned CPR

And radio protocols, all a personal development lift.

You often take photos

Of things that you see

And send them to Glenn…….

And then he sends them on to me

We talk about the those questions

And discuss at great length

How you all make Cote Saint Luc better

As we go from strength to strength

Perhaps you have seen

An opened garage door

Come upon a car accident

Or seen water gushing into a ground floor

The shifts might be many

Or perhaps just a few

But each one is precious

A donated gift from you

And no matter how your time is spent

Cote Saint Luc knows each of you is heaven sent!

So from Glenn and myself

And Council too

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah

Volunteers…THANK YOU!!!