LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police Department partnered with local churches and community leaders to put on the Clergy And Police Alliance a 14-week course that gave clergy men a chance to see what officers do in their line of work.
"Police in general have taken a bad rap across the country and this is an opportunity for our community leaders and neighborhood leaders to see what it is exactly that we do," said CAPA Organizer Lt. Jerry Smith.
LPD knew reaching out to the community by themselves would be difficult and they needed someone trustworthy help them reach out, and the clergy fit that role perfectly.
"We're trying to not only be a buffer between the police and the community but also get a joint effort to introduce the community to the police force," said Brothers Keep Church Youth Pastor Scott Wilcox.
"The clergy and the police working side by side makes a unity that can absolutely change the community," said Goodwill Baptist Church Pastor M.E. Lyons.
By training and riding along on active duty calls with LPD, the clergymen better understand why police do what they have to do.
"It's amazing," Wilcox said. "I actually didn't know how much went in to the police department."
However, he police were not only teaching the clergy, but they were learning from them as well.
"I think this is the start of something beautiful and I can't wait to see what blossoms from here," Lyons said.
By coming together and learning about each other and from each other, LPD and Lufkin clergy hope this is a huge step forward towards a more united community.
Due to the success of CAPA, LPD is planning on holding a citizen's training class in the fall.