By Nathan Prewett, For the Tribune
LEEDS – Leeds Police Chief Paul Irwin was approved by the Leeds City Council to launch Citizens Police Academy during a meeting on Monday, Oct. 2.
Irwin said that the academy will begin next month and will have 15 to 20 slots open.
“What we need is citizens from our community, and if we have room then other people that work in Leeds or business owners in Leeds or something like that – they can participate,” Irwin said. “And what this program is, this is a program where we can work with the community and each year they can come and attend up to 10 classes.”
He said that the classes would cover the requirements and expectations of being a police officer, including the physical fitness requirements.
He added that classes will cover the constitution, firearms and weapon safety, SWAT operations, investigations, techniques of investigations, crime scenes, vehicle operation, traffic stops and others.
“It will give the citizens of Leeds and the people that we work with or have a relationship with the ability to come and work with us and see what we do and be an asset to us in the community,” he said. “I think building relationships in the community is the best thing we can do.”
The program will begin in November and will go through March. They will also have ride-along programs where citizens can spend time with officers on duty. Those who are interested in applying may email Irwin at Pirwin@leedsalabama.gov. He will send applications that can be filled out and then sent back for consideration for selection.
The program was approved unanimously by the council.
During department reports, Fire Chief Chuck Parsons said it was Fire Prevention Week and that Leeds Fire and Rescue will provide education on the theme of cooking safety and preventing kitchen fires on social media.
Parsons also cautioned the public to be careful as Alabama remains under a fire alert due to dry conditions and that open fires outdoors should not be done.
In other business, the council:
- Dismissed a public nuisance case against a property on Kent Avenue,
- Authorized Irwin to re-campaign for president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police,
- Created a weed lien on a property on Clairmont Drive and confirmed the costs as $2,112.32,
- Created a weed lien on a property on Farley Drive and confirmed the costs as $2,112.32,
- Created a weed lien on a property on Cahaba Crossing Common Area and confirmed the costs as $5,032.75,
- Authorized up to $6,250 in confiscated funds for graphics on two SRO vehicles.
Meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of every month at City Hall on 1400 9th Street Northeast. Agenda packets can be seen online at the City of Leeds website.
Nathan Prewett can be reached at email@example.com.