Vicksburg Police Department hosts first ‘Citizens on Patrol Academy’

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 3:56 PM CDT
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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Peggy and Matt Fulghum are part of the city’s new citizens of Patrol Academy, and they are excited about the opportunity.

“I think it will probably dispel some of my notions about what police do, and it will be very helpful for me to be more effective and what I see and how I deal with them,” said Matt Fulghum.

“I’m looking forward to learning a little bit about exactly what their job is, what they do, and what we can do as citizens to help them do their job,” said Peggy Fulghum.

Police Chief Penny Jones says the couple is part of a special group invited to participate in this inaugural program.

“We chose pastors in the community, we chose business owners in the community, and people who had a genuine concern about the community,” said Chief Jones. “So, we chose this group first, so they will have a chance to critique us first before we have the second academy.”

The Vicksburg Police Department’s Citizens on Patrol Academy gives residents a first-hand look inside the department.

It also helps the class members better understand how VPD operates.

It’s a 10-week program that gives residents a behind-the-scenes look at what officers go through every day.

“They see how investigations work, how narcotics work. We will talk about domestic violence issues, we are talking about DUI’s, they will even get to go to our 911 center and see how our calls are dispatched,” said Jones.

Chief Jones says this new program comes at a time when many residents feel disconnected from the police.

“There is such a division between the community and police officers. Citizens on Patrol Academy is almost that connect to the community to get up close and personal with the officers to see what we do on a day-to-day operation and to just walk in our shoes to know we’re actually out there,” said Chief Jones. “When they are sleeping at night, we are out here protecting and serving.”

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