After a successful first session last fall, the Dalton Police Department will host a second class of the Citizens Police Academy in Spanish later this summer. Applications are now being accepted for the program which will be held on six nights in August and September.
The DPD has held a Citizens Police Academy for nearly two decades in English, and last fall held a condensed version of the course for Spanish speakers. The program gives participants a behind the scenes look at every aspect of the police department’s operation. The pilot course was met with an enthusiastic response, so this summer the department will be hosting a six-week course. Classes will be led by Spanish-speaking officers and staff. The program is part of the police department’s strategic plan to improve communication and cooperation with the community.
“One of the fundamentals of successful policing and crime prevention is the ability of the police to receive cooperation and information during criminal investigations,” said Chief Jason Parker before the program’s first class. “Without that trust and support, we are much less effective.”
“Reaching every segment of our community helps everyone as a whole,” Chief Parker continued. “The fact that we have a sizeable group of people who are non-English speakers creates a barrier of communication with police and all emergency services. Statistics and research show that people generally only report about 40 percent of crime they know about, and that number is even lower in minority communities where they may not be aware of the opportunity to work with the police department to solve and prevent crime. Criminals are aware of that presence and intentionally target these people as victims of robbery, assault, and fraud. Even more concerning to the police department is that the potential exists for organized crime, such as human trafficking, to get a foot-hold. As a community, we should all be concerned about that.”
The class will meet at the Rock Bridge building at 114 South Hamilton Street on August 22nd, 29th, September 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. People interested in participating can apply online at daltonpd.com/cpa_espanol.