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Program allows residents to help law enforcement

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, August 21, 2013

There is a way Decatur residents can volunteer to assist police and help cut down on crime.

The Citizen Police Academy (CPA) program allows residents to volunteer and become “the eyes and ears” of the local police department.

“We do patrol, we hand out tickets to people parked unlawfully in handicap spots, we raise funds for the department,” said CPA president Wayne Watts. “But we are unarmed. We just call an officer if we see something.”

“We stress for them to be the eyes and ears of the department,” said Decatur Police Sgt. Delvon Campbell. “We want the community to become more aware of what we are doing and get involved.”

The CPA members are trained to not confront suspects but instead to immediately call the police if they notice something suspicious or see a crime being committed.

The local CPA program has been such a success it allowed Decatur to host the annual Texas Citizens on Patrol Conference last weekend at the Decatur Civic Center. Approximately 150 CPA members from across the state attended a wide range of courses and training covering topics like drug identification, arming teachers, crime prevention, drinking and driving, suspect identification and human trafficking.

At the conference, Campbell was named vice president of the state program, and Decatur’s CPA was named the agency of the year for cities under 25,000.

To learn more about the program go to www.decaturtxcpaaa.org or call Watts at 940-577-2288 or call the Decatur Police Department at 940-627-1500.

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