Citizens police academy would foster bonding

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 7, 2011

How much safer would our community be if we had a police officer on every block, someone with understanding of the law in every neighborhood?

Although that may never happen, the concept of having a more informed public that understands the role of law enforcement would still be a huge step forward.

Local law enforcement agencies should borrow a page from the Kentucky State Police’s proverbial book and host some form of a citizens’ police academy.

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The Kentucky agency is gearing up for its third annual event next month. The program is essentially an hour and a half meeting once a week for 11 weeks.

Participants get an in-depth look at what the state police do who get the chance to talk with the troopers who serve the community.

Hosting something like that here in Lawrence County would be a smart move because it could help educate the public and break down negative stereotypes and perceptions.

Allowing youth participants could also help establish strong bonds between law enforcement and children that and could pay huge dividends for our community’s future.

Nearly every government agency is cash-strapped right now, but it wouldn’t cost that much money. Most of the officers needed would likely volunteer a couple hours of their time and work to promote better communication with citizens.

This may not put more police officers on the road, but it could help citizens support and embrace those who are already out there.