Citizens Police Academy holds first class

Published 6:57 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The first class for the Citizen’s Police academy was held Tuesday night at the LaGrange Police Department’s Training Center. The session overviewed all of the positions at the department, such as code enforcement, and the K-9 and traffic unit.

The classes, led by Lt. Eric Lohr and Community Outreach Officer Jim Davison, are meant to give citizens insight into local police work.

Davison said they run ‘comply then complain’ videos and hold these classes to dispel negativity about the police department.

“We’re kind of often portrayed as bad guys in the media today because when we make a mistake, it seems it gets magnified,” Davison said. “On the national, international level, you see a lot of the times [the media] is quick to place blame and point fingers instead of letting everything kind of fall into place. And when it dies at the end of the day, you never hear what was the result or know what happened.”

Davison said the department is trying to teach citizens how to have more positive interactions with them instead of relying on past negative experiences due to crime or traffic stops.

“We’re trying to show [people the] other things that we do,” he said.

Along with introducing the different agencies, citizens were able to ask the officers questions and raised concerns related to the departments.

In future classes, officers will go over include gang awareness and hold a K-9 demonstration among other things. Each participant can take two ride-alongs with officers.

Currently, the class has approximately over 20 people attending. The free two-hour course is held every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and lasts ten weeks. Several spots are still open for anyone who is still interested in registering.