Birmingham Police looking to improve community relationships and trust with new training opportunity

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 9:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police are working to get more involved with the community to work towards a better relationship between citizens and the department.

They are bringing back their community police academy, where you can work with officers directly. This is part of the department’s effort for community policing, where residents are willing to call and provide information on a case when they have it.

It’s a two hour course for 10 weeks. BPD officers will show you what a day in their shoes is like. You’ll have one on one opportunities with officers to talk about what’s going on in your neighborhood and get help with resources.

The department hopes this will help build better trust from the community. They’ll also teach participants about certain laws, defensive driving, and why officers handle cases certain ways.

“Oftentimes, people are confused about why the police did something a certain way, so this is an opportunity for them to learn the laws and for them to see what the police do everyday,” BPD Captain Janice Blackwell said. “Scenarios that put the community in situations officers would be in and I think that is the best part of the training. It gives them the opportunity to see whether they would shoot or not. A lot of people shoot and say ‘ok, we understand what is going on with law enforcement now.’ Before that, they may not have understood why an officer used their firearm.”

The class starts Oct. 4. BPD said the class is already half full.

You can call (205) 933-4175 to sign up.

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