Trumann PD to host citizens' training in 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson released some of his prospective ideas for 2014 for the betterment of the Trumann community, including the idea to have a citizens training academy some time in the year.

"The point of a citizens academy is to come into a classroom setting, and for one night a week teach all the fundamentals that we have in our profession and also to get feedback from those professionals about how we can interact together," Henson said.

His hopes for the academy are to provide a setting for these invited individuals to learn about criminal law, traffic law, how crime and traffic scenes are processed, use of force, and other policy procedures.

Those to participate in Trumann's first citizens academy will be invited under the stipulations that they live or work in the city, are above 21 years of age, and meet all the requirements that police officers must meet. Henson said 15 to 20 professionals will be invited to the first one.

After the first participants graduate from the academy, an application process will be in place. Residents applications will be reviewed much like an officer's resume would be.

"The end goal is to have a forum of volunteers at the end of the class to develop an alumni association," Henson said.

The association will be able to communicate with the police department on policies and issues and serve as another voice for for community members.

"They will be able to have a better avenue to communicate with me and get better feedback from the community," the chief said.

In 2014, Henson also said the department will continue to focus on the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. He, along with other law enforcement officers, are working to get legislation passed that requires pharmacists and doctors to communicate through an online program. According to Henson, that required communication would greatly decrease the misuse of prescription drugs and in turn, help the crime rate.

At the beginning of 2013, Henson's goal was to reduce the rate of commercial burglary in Trumann. After a few informative classes about victimization, the commercial burglary rate went down 76% in the town. The chief also said the year brought a decrease in the overall crime rate.

In addition to the implementation of the academy, TPD will be continuing its own training for officers. Whereas it is only mandatory to train once a year on a certain subject for law enforcement in Arkansas, Henson said the Trumann Police Department officers must train every month.

With several things to take action soon, the Trumann Police Department is looking at 2014 to be a good year.

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