Middletown police plan to relaunch Citizens Police Academy

Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-18 09:17:58-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Middletown has a new idea to help revitalize its downtown and fight heroin, and it comes with a relaunch of the Citizens Police Academy.

The academy was cut roughly 10 years ago. Now the chief wants to bring it back.

Chief Rodney Muterspaw believes that allowing residents to actually come in once a week and see firsthand what police officers do is the best public relations they can get, because from there residents will take that knowledge back home and tell their family and friends.

"They get to see the nuts and bolts that go along with the few minutes of action that they see on TV," Lt. Jim Cunningham said.

He said it's all about understanding what police do on a daily basis.

"The chief's vision, we want to be a transparent department, so we want the community to totally understand what we do and how we do it and this is one of the vehicles that gets us there," Cunningham said.

As Middletown continues to grapple with the heroin crisis and other issues related to crime, pastor Michael Bailey said this kind of positive interaction is important for the police and the community.

"You know, the police officers in my view are glorified social workers and I don't think the community has any idea what they go through day to day," Bailey said.

As a police chaplain, Bailey himself as been on ridealongs with police and has seen hirsthand the ups and downs on a shift with police.

For those eager to join the first class, it's going to be a wait. The program is slated to get its start again next year.