Pa. state police hoping to 'bridge the gap' with Citizens' Police Academy

Civilians will have a chance to gain some perspective on law enforcement through the 10-week course


By David Weissman
The York Dispatch

YORK, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police understand tensions are high right now between law enforcement and citizens, and Troop H wants to help ease some of that tension.

The troop will host a Citizens' Police Academy session in Delta during a 10-week span from October to December to help both sides gain some perspective.

"The best way to ease that (tension) is through interaction," Trooper Rob Hicks said. "It's two-sided, not just us asking them to listen to us; we want the citizens to tell us what they think."

Trooper Angel Garcia said the department has received about five applications for the free program, which requires participants to be Pennsylvania residents who are at least 21 years old.

Garcia is hoping for 30-40 applicants, he said, with applications being accepted until Sept. 23.

The academy consists of weekly two-hour classroom sessions, with presentations on topics including patrol and crime functions, arson and crash investigations and the use and operation of the judicial system.

They will be held 6-8 p.m. every Monday beginning Oct. 5 at the YWCA Community Senior Center, 5 Pendyrus St., Suite 1.

"Hopefully we can help bridge that gap (between law enforcement and citizens) with firsthand experience and knowledge," Hicks said.

The troop held this academy previously, starting in 1999, but hasn't offered it since 2013, Hicks said.

A separate academy session will also be held in Harrisburg during the same time period.

Applications are available at Troop H, York Station, 110 Trooper Court in Springfield Township, or email Garcia at agarcia@pa.gov or Trooper Ed Asbury at easbury@pa.gov to request an electronic application.

Copyright 2015 The York Dispatch


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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