It is always positive when a police department shows innovation in reaching out to the community. Recently, the Calexico Police Department showed innovation by announcing plans to have a citizens' academy designed to show people what it is police do and why they do it.
It's just another form of community-oriented policing, something of a catch phrase now throughout the nation and here in the Valley. Community-oriented policing is aimed at erasing some of the lines that have separated the community from police departments, introducing the community to police officers and vice versa.
We have always supported police departments in the Imperial Valley as they have initiated community-oriented policing. What those programs do is make it easier for people to contact police and for police to have a stronger relationship with the communities they serve.
The citizens' academy will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. Each session will last about 13 weeks and up to 30 residents in each session will meet with police at the headquarters for three-hour programs to learn about police work. Residents will learn life-saving techniques, information about drugs and gangs, and a whole list of other issues with which police must deal.