After about a year of monthly meetings with a volunteer Citizens Police Advisory committee covering a wide range of public safety topics (home safety, lethal force, K9 crews, and more) , the Kent Police Department is starting off the second year with a presentation on their plans to offer a new Citizens Police Academy for interested Kent residents in 2011-12. The Citizen’s meeting is set for July 12, 2011, in the Police Training room at 7:30 a.m. Anyone is welcome to attend.
Given the popularity of Police Academies in other communities, the concept of a Kent Police Academy has been talked about for some time, but to do it right meant finding resources to put towards it — and in these tight times, that took awhile. But we think we’ve accumulated enough to give it a try.
Fortunately, last year we were successful in applying for grant funds to improve collaborative Police – Community relations and in addition to scheduing more neighborhood Policing and outreach, the Police staff revisited the concept of a Police Academy and they are putting the final touches on a 12 -week curriculum before rolling it out over the next couple of months.
July’s Citizen Police Advisory meeting is devoted to an open discussion of the elements of the Academy for public input. The Police think they’ve got a good concept but they want to run it by City residents first since that’s the target audience.
I’ve watched the Citizen Police Academy graduates earn their diplomas in each of the cities I’ve worked in and I’ve seen first-hand how popular they can be, so I am optimistic that Kent’s new program will be a success. That success will depend on customizing the program to meet the Police and Kent residents expectations, so if you can join the planning meeting please do so.
Here’s the meeting notice from Kent’s Public Safety Director: