A few weeks ago, I posted about an opportunity for residents of Pittsburgh to learn more about and become engaged with City government, and last night while talking to Patrick Dowd and his staff, Jennifer Thoma, I learned about another pportunity that I hope I can interest you in exploring. Pittsburgh’s Citizen Police Academy.

Twice a year, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police sponsors an opportunity for members of the community to become closely acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of the Police Bureau. The Pittsburgh Citizen’s Police Academy (CPA) brings the police and the community close together in a setting that offers a sample of police training to each participant.

According to Dowd, involvement in this program, not only teaches citizens about the police, but possibly more importantly, teaches the police about real citizens, and helps the police learn more about how to best serve the people of Pittsburgh. There has been an emphasis in the past on engaging minorities in this project, but there has never been a push to engage the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. So why not now? Imagine the good that could grow from not only teaching members of LGBT Pittsburgh about how the police operate, but also to allow real GLBT folks to teach the police about who we are as individuals as well as a community?

On the link below, you will find out more about the program, as well as an application that must be completed and returned. I’m thinking of applying- why not join me? Let’s get a class full of the community and our allies, and do our part to bridge the gap to the police and improve how they interact with LGBT folks. A 15 evening commitment could have lifelong benefits for you as well as for others.

http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/html/citizens_police.html

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