Ena Foreman: CIVCM Capstone Poster
From Emily Bush-Clark on April 16th, 2020
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In my internship with the State College Police Department, I was assigned to organize the 2019 Centre County Citizens’ Police Academy. Having been involved with the first one in 2018, I launched myself into the project, taking bits and pieces from the 2018 academy, while contributing my own spark and creativity into the 2019 version.
As a future law enforcement officer and as a current citizen, I understand the need for building better police-community relationships. Police-community relationships have been struggling nationally. One decision made by one officer on the other end of the country can affect the reputation of the other 700,000+ officers in the United States. It is important that despite these incidents that can reflect poorly on policing as a whole, that police departments focus on mending and building relationships with their local communities to better maintain public safety and effective policing, and to provide reassurance to the community.
Because I understood the importance of fostering police-community relationships and understanding, organizing this citizens police academy was such a rewarding experience. At the conclusion of the 8 weeks, it was so rewarding to receive such great feedback from participants. The participants all said they learned a lot more about police activities, and although most of them were supportive of the police in the first place, it created such a wonderful experience to get to know the people behind the badge that served their local communities, as well as all of the different components that went into policing (even though we didn’t cover everything!).
My Capstone Project was to create a training manual for how to organize this academy. I cannot stress enough how beneficial this police academy was to the police and the participants, and I hope to pass along the tools and knowledge that I learned from running this academy to future interns, so that they may continue and expand this program.