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East Texas law enforcement group form faith-based academy - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

East Texas law enforcement group form faith-based academy

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Mt. Pleasant, Texas -

An East Texas law enforcement group is joining forces with church leaders to better serve and reduce crime in their community.

Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Wayne Isbell says more than 30 churches are represented in the newly formed Clergy and Police Alliance Program or CAPA.

That's more than 50 percent participation.

Isbell says the program started in Fort Worth.

While it's not a new program, he say other communities don't have as much support.

"Their participation already shows the love of the churches is tremendous in this community," said Chief Isbell.

To become a CAPA member, pastors and clergy must attend a special 18-hour training course.

It's similar to a citizens police academy.

Once they've completed training, members will be able to ride with officers, follow-up ministerial services offered to those in need and those who violate the law.

Minister Skippy Norman believes by working together they'll narrow down crime.

"It's great to see so many that want to be involved," said Norman.  

Pastor Howard Petty has nine years of experience as a police officer and has worked in the jail ministry for 28 years.

Pastor Cedric Thorton says the CAPA program will bridge relationships and evaluate community issues.

"We just want to help the police department bring our awareness of our concerns for when they interact with our community," said Thorton.

Both the police and sheriff's departments are encouraging ministers and clergy to go online and read more about the program and complete a registration form at www.mpcity.org/CAPA.

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