Moss Point Academy Aimed at Cutting Down Crime - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/04/04

Moss Point Academy Aimed at Cutting Down Crime

Moss Point's Police Chief says being an officer isn't easy. That's why he started a Citizen's Police Academy to let community members help out the police department.

Twelve year Moss Point resident David Matthews cares about the city of Moss Point. So when he heard the citizens of Moss Point could be part of a group to help the police department, he jumped at the chance.

"I think that an informed public is probably one of the best assets that a police department can have," Matthews said.

Matthews and about 19 other residents got to watch and participate in a mock-car accident to show them what officers face daily. This is part of a new 12-week program called the Citizen's Police Academy.

"It is like a city-wide neighborhood watch because if you get the public informed, I believe it helps to make the police department's job that much easier," Matthews said.

Police Chief Micheal Ricks job has not been easy in the past year since he started here in Moss Point. It was his idea to have this academy to get the community to join forces to help their police department.

"We're looking at the fact that if we can educate the community on law enforcement, their role as citizens, we feel that we can deter crime together and make a positive impact in our community," Chief Rick said.

Matthews and the others here want to see this academy grow, and that's what Chief Ricks plans to do.

"We want to see it grow and just make our community a better place," Ricks said.

Making Moss Point safer and making the citizens more informed. Citizens Police Academy is part of the five-point-plan presented by the police chief.

The Academy has 20 members, but Chief Ricks hopes to have up to 50 members in the next academy and wants to have at least three 12-week academies every year.

By: Claire Nelson

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