TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Several police departments have “citizens academies” to educate the public on law enforcement assistance, but one East Texas city has taken it a little farther.
Since January, the Longview Police Department has held classroom and field instruction in what is called the Longview Business Police Academy, helping businesses work in partnership with police.
Representatives from 17 different businesses and schools have undergone instruction in a unique first-ever Longview police academy.
“It’s geared towards our business community. This is our last session of our business police academy that we started back in January,” said Longview Police Chief Mike Bishop.
It was developed because of the need for quick response for emergency personnel to businesses and buildings which in recent history have become targets for violence locations for illegal activities.
“We’re seeing a lot of internet crimes that occur. This is how businesses can work cooperatively with us,” Bishop said.
Learning about everything from drug sniffing K-9's to active shooter scenarios, they get a sense of partnership with police.
“We’ve learned more about active shooters. We’ve learned how to be proactive in things and how they’re only a phone call away,” said Ebony Dennis, a worker at Kilgore College’s Longview campus.
“A good bit of training on the a-b-c’s of active shooters, and we’d be able to participate in the process, and also what to look for in narcotics,” said Tony Doria of Network Communications.
“Those issues they may face as a relation to the type of business that they own. It’ll help us educate our business community on different procedures when we go out and investigate any criminal activity,” Bishop said.
Members of the first Longview Business Police Academy will graduate in November.