KPD trains new clergy partners

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Kilgore Police Department is cultivating another group of partners among local church leaders: before they can join the three-year-old Clergy and Police Alliance, they’ll take on an eight-week, specially-tailored training.

“The Kilgore Police Department has long recognized that clergy and their congregations are an abundant and dynamic community resource,” KPD Assistant Chief Roman Roberson said in a press release. “As law enforcement officials, we believe a Clergy and Police Alliance program is a natural extension of our department’s Community Policing philosophy. This is a great opportunity for both law enforcement and ministers to come together and work hand in hand to solve our community problems.

“Our goal is to have a representative from every church, denomination, and faith from our city become involved.”

The 2018 CAPA Academy runs Sept. 20 through Nov. 8, sessions set from 6 p.m. to about 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Applications are available at KPD (909 N. Kilgore St.) or online at KilgorePolice.com.

The academy is open to religious leaders who live in Kilgore (or the surrounding area), 17-and-older with a valid driver’s license. Applicants must maintain an ordination license or be a member of church leadership. All candidates are subject to a background investigation, Roberson noted.

Before becoming an active member of the CAPA Program, clergy must complete KPD’s 24-hour training course: similar to the department’s Citizen Policy Academy, the class includes eight weekly sessions “designed especially for pastors, clergy and religious leaders to indoctrinate them into the inner-workings of a police department and the criminal justice system.”

Participants will get classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience in everything from crime scene investigations to responding to a variety of incidents: family violence, sex crimes, homicides and more. According to Roberson, clergy will learn more about traffic controls, narcotics, law enforcement communications, use of force, internal affairs, high-risk incident command issues, training, law, background investigations and emergency response.

Following graduation this fall, the new CAPA members will finish their training in a field-environment ride-along with a Kilgore police officer.

“Spending time with officers gives them a better understanding of police protocol before acting in the official capacity as a CAPA member,” Roberson noted. “This program is a unique ministerial opportunity.

“CAPA members and their organizations will be called upon to pray for the police department members, to be intentional in the building of relationships with law enforcement and other governmental officials, be available on a voluntary basis and ride with officers on patrol to view and evaluate community issues and be available for crisis interaction involving our community members with follow-up ministerial services.”

There are a limited number of spots available for the Fall 2018 course: applications are due Sept. 14. Download a CAPA application at KilgoreNewsHerald.com.

For more information about KPD’s CAPA academy contact the department’s chaplain, Det. Tim Dukes, at 903-218-6904.

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