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Canyon Lake City Council honors Art Femister as Citizen of the Month

Mayor Jeremy Smith presents Art Femister with the Citizen of the Month Award. Photo provided by the City of Canyon Lake.

The Canyon Lake City Council recognized Art Femister as Canyon Lake’s January Citizen of the Month. Femister was honored for his volunteer work with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Citizen Volunteer Patrol Program, one of ten programs under the department’s Volunteer Program.

Femister volunteers at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station. He was sworn into the program more than a year ago, but due to COVID restrictions, has only been active for the past six months. Volunteers in the program act as essential “eyes and ears” in service to the community while working with Sheriff’s staff.

“We patrol the community in marked patrol vehicles equipped with the same capabilities that the deputies have, minus the firearms,” Femister said. “We have the capability to communicate directly with dispatch and other deputies via the radio system, and have the same overhead warning lights so we can assist with traffic control during accidents, special events, etc.”

Prior to joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Citizen Patrol Program, Femister spent 10 years as a Specialist Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He worked primarily on the new joint FBI-LAPD Homicide Library project.

“The goal of the project is to centralize and digitize all of the agency’s murder books from the past 20 years for quick lookup of information and to increase the ability to share information with the FBI for statistical and casework involvement,” Femister said.

In addition, Femister spent 12 years volunteering in the Citizens Patrol Program with two local sheriff’s agencies.

Seven years ago, Femister and his wife relocated to Canyon Lake from Corona where they resided for 25 years.

The Canyon Lake Citizen of the Month initiative was created in January of 2021 to honor Canyon Lake residents for their service to the community. Each awardee is recognized by the mayor with a certificate. Community members are encouraged to nominated Citizens of the Month by submitting their name and a short paragraph detailing their good work to [email protected]. Residents of all ages are eligible to be nominated for this award. 

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