By Tiffany Williams –
At a time when national headlines continually criticize police officers and create mistrust of law enforcement, every Wednesday night a group of Worcester residents join together at the Worcester Police Station, to learn about law enforcement and how the Worcester Police Department operates.
These city residents are members of the Worcester Police Department Citizens’ Academy.
Worcester Police Chief, Steven M. Sargent says, “The Worcester Police Department’s Citizens’ Academy is a great opportunity for residents to get a more in-depth look at the work we do in the city while obtaining a better understanding of policing. The course covers numerous topics, ranging from use-of-force training to scenario training. My hope is that participants are able to gain a broader knowledge of these subjects and have any questions or concerns addressed through the classes and instruction. I want to thank the participants for taking the time to learn and understand the work we do and the challenges we face.”
The program which is run by the Police Departments Training Division is designed to provide citizens with a better understanding of the nature of police work and while graduates of this program will not be police officers, they will be better-informed citizens who have taken a glimpse behind the scenes to see what police work is all about.
Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. in a statement said, “The Citizens Police Academy is a great way for the public to learn about the Worcester Police Department, and what our men and women in uniform do each and every day to keep our city safe. It is also a unique opportunity for our police officers to interact with the public they serve. Community policing is all about building relationships, and the Citizens Police Academy is one of the tools in our toolbox to help enhance the relationships between police and the residents of Worcester.”