Citizens Police Academy to focus on the ‘why’

Academy begins April 1
Mar. 18, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

Take a look at what goes on behind the scenes in the Thomasville Police Department through the Citizens Police Academy, an initiative designed to help open the lines of communication between police and the public. The eight-week program is free to anyone 18 years or older.

“We're going to educate and focus on the why,” Chief Jeff Insley said. “Sometimes you may not like the way things are done but you understand why we're doing it. We're using this with the thinking that if the citizens understand what we're doing, they can help us and be a better support system for us.”

The Citizen's Police Academy will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays beginning April 1 and culminate with a graduation ceremony on May 27.

Participants will be introduced to various functions of TPD.

“Typically, what comes along with that education is you bridge the gap of understanding and you have a better relationship where things work better,” said Insley. “That's our goal.”

Instructors will review  laws and aspects of crime prevention. Specialized police units will conduct demonstrations and community partners will introduce participants to some of the various functions used to bridge the gap with law enforcement.

“This is just a refocus on the community,” Lt. Donnie Rowe said. “This is a short version of what law enforcement does. It gives the community a chance to see the reason why the see us and why we do things a certain way. We'll give them a breakdown of our organization.”

Once the program is finished, Insley hopes alumni of the program will assist TPD on community events such as Everybody's Day and National Night Out.

“There are several functions where this could lead into,” Insley said. “We also want to let citizens hear from other folks in the community on the why. It's all about communication.”

Applications for the academy are available at the department, 7 W. Guilford St.

For more information, contact Rowe at 475-5584.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.