COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) has launched a newly re-structured "Community Academy."
According to CSPD, the Community Academy program is designed to educate community members about police officers, policies and procedures of the department, and the community member’s role in the interaction of community members and police through a series of classes.
Traditionally, Community Academy was a 12-week-in-person curriculum that required background checks. It also limited attendance to just 25-50 people maximum. Due to its limited reach, the department started looking into ways to reach more people.
Creating more accessibility, CSPD now releases videos online, which can be found on their website, Facebook, and Youtube.
“We are excited about this new format of the Community Academy, especially because it allows our community to get to know us in the time and manner of their choosing. While we understand that not everyone will view these videos, we want to make sure the opportunity is there for anyone who wants it,” says CSPD Chief Vince Niski.
So far, it's already had an incredible impact. The first videos have reached over 15,000 people, with a total of 5,446 views in just the first three weeks. CSPD says trying to reach that many people in the traditional way would've taken 108 years.
Future topics include how CSPD handles homicide investigations, internal reviews, and Internet crime against children investigations.
Community Relations Sergeant Jason Newton, whose unit oversees the Community Academy, says, “Thanks to the feedback we received from our community members, this new and inclusive format is designed to provide insight into the police department. We hope conversation continues and encourage community members to ask questions, recommend topics, and dive deeper into specific issues. The CSPD Community Relations Unit will continue to be available to answer questions or meet with community groups.”