The Chapel Hill Police Department is holding a Community Police Academy to teach community members about the department's role in the Town and the purpose of its divisions and units.
The Community Police Academy will feature six free Tuesday sessions from April 11 to May 16 and a final session on May 20.
CHPD Training Captain Danny Lloyd said the academy is an opportunity for community members to meet police officers and gain an understanding of the jobs of the police in Chapel Hill in a hands-on way.
“We're hoping to kind of highlight the different divisions and units within the department and give them each a chance to come and to share what they do,” Lloyd said.
He said each session will feature a general overview of CHPD, then the patrol division will explain the qualifications to become a police officer. They’ll explain how they react to 911 calls and go into depth about training for prospective officers.
Lloyd also said CHPD's legal advisors will speak about several laws related to policing in the Town, and Alex Carrasquillo, the department's public information officer, will discuss how CHPD shares information with the media.
The CHPD Crisis Unit will walk community members through its co-responder model, where social workers are paired with officers to respond to a range of different situations.
Simon Palmore, the chairperson of the Town's Community Policing Advisory Committee, said that as the country is in the midst of a conversation about the role of police, holding these sessions has become all the more important.
“As we have these conversations about the role of police, I think it's really important for members of the community to deep dive into what this police department is doing,” Palmore said. “And having that understanding will provide context and provide depth and nuance to broader conversations about the role of police period.”