Public Safety Citizen’s Academy starts March 6

COVINGTON – Residents interested in learning more about the resources, departments and functions of Covington’s municipal government will soon have the opportunity to enroll in the Public Safety Citizen’s Academy.

The program will begin Thursday, March 6, and last 12 weeks with classes meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday.

The academy is part of the Safer Covington Action Network initiative as a way to provide citizens the opportunity to become more familiar with the city’s functions as well as the public safety organizations within Covington along with the Police Department.

“I think the Citizen’s Academy is very important for our citizens and the Police Department in that it creates a relationship where the citizens actually learn the ‘why’ along with the ‘how’ of what it takes to be a police department and a police officer,” said Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton. “Also the training the citizens get from the other public safety departments and the city as a whole allows them to gain a behind-the-scenes glimpse of just how complex this city really is.”

City representatives will conduct presentations and demonstrations on various topics during the weekly training sessions, which include municipal government, divisions within the Police Department, fire response and prevention, and 911 communications.

Participants will also engage in practical exercises with the different departments throughout the 12-week program.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for the citizens to not only learn about our public safety, but the city as a whole,” City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said. “I also believe it builds a relationship with the citizens and the employees of the city that they may not otherwise develop without the personal interaction. Opening our doors and assisting the citizens is very important and this proves to be a great way to do just that.”

The goal of the program is to establish additional support and a heightened degree of community awareness in the government while developing and growing a nucleus of responsible, well-informed citizens, who have the potential to influence public opinion concerning Covington’s practices and the delivery of services.

Cotton said he hopes participants walk away with a better appreciation for the dedication each city employee gives to the citizens.

The Police Department also hopes some participants will have an interest to volunteer for the police, fire or Covington-Newton 911 center.

Space is limited to 20 citizens and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For application information, contact Lt. Al Miller at 770-786-7605 or email at amos.miller@covingtonpolice.com. An application can also be downloaded at www.covingtonpolice.com.