Civilian police academy to begin in January

Monday, December 1, 2014

At this month's city council meeting, Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson announced that he will begin a 10-week training program for citizens in January.

"All too often I am asked, or a lot of my guys are asked to educate the public," Henson said. "Unfortunately, in the United States, the public is not well-educated in law enforcement and crime prevention until they meet a police officer in an uncomfortable situation, either on a traffic stop or they've been burglarized."

The Civilian Police Academy is designed for working professionals who volunteer to attend classes for 10 weeks. Volunteers must be able to commit 3-4 hours a week to the class and be 18 years old or above.

Henson said the class starts out by learning a history of law enforcement. Then, the volunteers learn more about criminal law, traffic law, and crime prevention.

"It's basically just a time for citizens to ask us why and how we do what we do, and it's a time for us to tell you," the chief said.

His expected outcomes are for the class to increase civilian understanding of law enforcement and crime prevention.

Henson is offering the first class to teachers, mayor-elect Barbara Lewallen, firemen, and the city council. This first class of potential volunteers have been selected by Henson. He said in the future, the process would be by application.

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