Birmingham Police hope new community policing academy helps build trust with community

BPD offering Citizens Academy to build community trust
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:12 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police want to get more involved in your community, so they are brining back the Citizen Police Academy. It’s been gone since the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a violent week in Birmingham, Chief Scott Thurmond called on the community to work with the department and come forward with information. Mayor Randall Woodfin encouraged parents to talk to kids about gang violence. Thurmond said that policing is a community effort, so the department is launching a new community program to improve it’s relationship with you.

It’s a ten-week community police academy and officials with the department said they are bringing it back after a lot of community concern and demand. There’s no cap on how many people can enroll and it starts on October 4.

BPD officials said participants will learn more about how the department works, but also how to increase police communication and reduce crime in your neighborhoods.

“So people can understand more about what we are doing and how we are doing it and also building that trust factor again,” Birmingham Police Department Public Relations Manager Keaira Turner said. “We want to build active partnerships between us to figure out how we can help more in the community. We want people to have a resource of someone who can talk to them about different things going on.”

BPD said policing is a community wide effort and they hope this class increases trust in the community and the department.

“Trust is a big thing between the community and the police,” Turner said. “That is one thing we are trying to build upon, so they know ‘hey, you can come to us when something is wrong or something happens’. We can have an active partnership and community engagement.”

Turner said the class will also cover helpful topics like active shooter training and how to stop a major bleed.

To register for the academy class, contact the COPE Division at 205-933-4175 or by email at bpdcode@birminghamal.gov.

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