The Kilgore Police Department is launching the second session of its Clergy and Police Alliance Academy after starting the program last year.
The program is designed to more fully engage the city’s faith-based sector with law enforcement so they are communicating and supporting each other.
“It’s more about building relationships with those local clergy so that we can utilize them in times of need,” Kilgore Police Detective Tim Dukes, who is also the department’s chaplain, said.
The goal is to have a representative from every church, denomination and faith in the city, according to a department news release. It is open to Kilgore and the surrounding towns.
Ordained clergy must apply and once accepted into the program, they will have to complete an eight-week class comprising 24 hours of training.
During the classes, which are the same as the Citizen Police Academy classes, participants will learn about the inner workings of the police department and criminal justice system including crime scene search, family violence, sex crimes, homicide investigation, traffic enforcement, narcotics, communications and use of force.
After graduation from the course, the members will ride along with a police officer in a field environment scenario.
The purpose of that is for them to better understand police protocol before officially becoming a Clergy and Police Alliance member.
Clergy members will be asked to pray for police department members, to build relationships with law enforcement officers and government officials, to be available on a voluntary basis for ride-alongs with patrol officers to view and evaluate community issues, and to be available to meet the needs of community members after a crisis.
The department would like to have at least 10 participants. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 14.
The academy is scheduled to meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from Sept. 20 through Nov. 1.
Applications are available at the Kilgore Police Department, 909 N. Kilgore St., or online at www.kilgorepolice.com.