MADISONVILLE, Ky. (5/14/13) –The Madisonville Police Dept. (MPD)and Madisonville-Hopkins County Citizens Police Academy (CPA) graduated their Spring 2013 class last Tuesday, May 9 at the City Park Clubhouse in a ceremony consisting of the 16 graduates, their families and the Madisonville Police Department officers, instructors, and dispatchers who trained the group.
This is the 12th class of graduates the CPA has trained, and the program has been full or near capacity with every season. The CPA is a volunteer 10 week training course for anyone interested in serving the community and the department. It is hosted by MPD.
“There are two annual training courses to become a CPA, one in the spring and one in the fall, usually in September, and the classes usually cap out at around 20 members, so as to maintain a personal training environment,” said MPD Chief Wade Williams.
The mission of the CPA, as addressed in their online mission statement, which can be accessed for full view by clicking here: (http://madisonvillegov.com/Madisonville_Kentucky/index.asp?Page=C.P.A.) “is to provide citizens a hands on educational experience into the role of the Law Enforcement Officer. Through a series of lectures, field trips and simulated activities the Academy will create a nucleus of well-informed citizens who possess a greater insight into police practices and operations. The citizens who graduate from the academy can share their experiences and knowledge with other members of the community which will only enhance the relationship between the community and law enforcement.”
Williams included, “The CPA participation in any county or city is beneficial in numerous ways to the members, the community as a whole and to the police departments in which they assist. The participants develop a morale and ethic about their role as a community member and as a servant of that community. The community itself is benefitted by having the extra support of such citizens and the department is able to save time and money by the extra volunteer support so that more time and expense can be re-directed toward funding for community projects or charities and such.”
Tuesday’s ceremony began at 6 p.m. with dinner prepared and catered by Hopkins County Jail inmate trustees. During dinner, the group was shown footage from the past 10 weeks of training, reflecting on various exercises and lessons. The group was able to get a good laugh in by reviewing the previous nightmare of the tazer gun experience each eligible and interested graduate endured voluntarily during training. The graduates discussed different strategies with the officers on how the program can be enhanced for future classes, what the highlights are now, where they were most benefitted, and overall improvement, satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction with the classes and lessons. Chief Williams added that it is always part of each class’ general consensus that the whole course overall “…should be extended longer than 10 weeks just so they can get more because they seem to enjoy it so much.”
He continued that there is always an overwhelming response from the graduates that they are amazed and enlightened by being able to see the “other side” of the law enforcement occupation and how much they appreciate what the officers do.
“We (officers, administrators and dispatchers) want as many community members that are eligible to participate in the CPA because we appreciate what they do to help us here in the station and in the community. We want them to know by experience what it’s like to be on this side of things. We’re not the old traditional police station that is evasive and secretive or private and formal, like many stations are. We want the community to trust us and know us and appreciate us like we do them.”
Each graduate was awarded a certificate of completion and a uniform CPA shirt. Following completion of a CPA course, the CPA has monthly refresher meetings where they are briefed on policies, procedures, updates and upcoming events where they may be needed to assist. They are requested for volunteer work at specific events or for specific duties such as traffic watch, station data entry work, dispatch work, 5K events, crowd control and any other duty they can assist MPD with.
The next CPA training course will be held tentatively in the fall of this year. Interested participants may pick up a registration application at the MPD station lobby desk upon request. For additional information, you may contact MPD at (270) 821-1720 or address/inbox CPA President Shirley Haynie and/or Secretary Sue Jones on: Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Citizens.Police.Academy.
Photo provided by the Madisonville Police Department
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