Community Services Division

Citizen Observer Patrol
The Citizen Observer Patrol (COP) program is a volunteer group sponsored by the Durham Police Department that uses a simple approach to safeguarding neighborhoods through residents' involvement. Durham’s COP program began as pilot initiative in Police District 2 in September 2003. The program has now expanded to Districts 1, 3 and 4.

COP volunteers patrol their communities to watch out for suspicious activities and crimes in progress, aid stranded motorists and generally provide an increased level of comfort for those who see the extra patrol on the streets. Other activities include visiting local businesses, making house checks for residents who are away on vacation and checking in with the elderly and infirm.

Participant Eligibility

Participants must pass a background check and undergo training to take part in the program. COP volunteers wear uniforms and drive specially marked vehicles, adding to the crime-fighting presence in the community. To apply, please complete the COP Application (PDF).

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Officer John Suitt Jr. at 919-560-4404, ext. 29361 or your district commander.
Officers in the Gang Resistance Education & Training (GREAT) Unit work with students in the Durham Public Schools. The Police Department's GREAT officers focus on teaching elementary school students how to resist joining a gang and peer pressure involved. GREAT is a nationwide program that has proven successful in keeping children out of gangs.
Honor Guard
The Durham Police Department's Honor Guard is a highly-trained ceremonial unit that provides honors to the families of deceased employees, including active and retired reserve officers and non-sworn members of the Police Department, upon the request of the family. The Honor Guard provides ceremonial services at police conferences, memorial services, parades, and other special events.

Honor Guard Special Recognition

The Honor Guard has performed at National Peace Officer Memorial Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and received training from the U.S. Army's Old Guard.
Mobile Substation
The mobile substation is used as a command post at major crime scenes and to make high-crime neighborhoods safer. The substation provides temporary office space in field operations allowing commanders to work free of distractions in critical incident situations and giving investigators a place to conduct field interviews. The substation is fully self-contained with telephones, a computer, a fax machine, kitchen and rest room.
Police Athletic League
The Durham Police Athletic League (PAL) program has several goals:
  • Providing youth with an alternative to crime and gang activity
  • Building bridges with the community
  • Creating mentoring relationships between officers and youth
More than 500 youths ages 5 to 18 have participated in Durham Police Athletic League. The PAL program includes basketball leagues for grades 1 through 5 and ages 15 to 18, a soccer league and a baseball league. For more information, please view the PAL Brochure (PDF) or contact Master Officer Erwin Baker.
PAL Partners
Through PAL, the Police Department has partnered with:
  • Durham Bulls Youth Athletic League
  • Durham Parks and Recreation Department
  • Durham Public Schools
  • John Avery Boys and Girls Club
  • Soccer United
  • The Salvation Army
  • White Rock Baptist Church