CPD’s first Citizens Police Academy class focuses on The Mercy Project

Columbia PD's first Citizens Police Academy Class focuses on The Mercy Project

COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - The Columbia Police Department has begun a new outreach program to increase awareness of police activities and develop stronger partnerships with members of the community.

It’s called the Citizens Police Academy and it met for the first time Thursday night at the Columbia Police Department.

The focus of the inaugural class was The Mercy Project.

That’s a community policing program that assists people who are battling addiction and offers support for their families.

“There are a lot of addicts out there struggling and they all deserve a second chance but they just have to be ready for that second chance and we’re here to support them,” said Danielle Barber, coordinator of The Mercy Project.

This Saturday, an event will be held in Columbia, which will honor those who are recovering from addiction and remember those who lost their battle with addiction.

The first-ever Recovery Walk will begin at 10 a.m. at the County Courthouse and will end at Friendship Park.

It will also help raise money for The Mercy Project.

“(It’s being done) to give back and to show people that we do recover and that all addicts are not bad, sometimes we just don’t know where to turn and a lot of times, we don’t have people to turn to,” said April Prine, coordinator of the Recovery Walk.

Prine is also recovering from addiction.

“It’s just a way to show that we do recover and we are good people."

Each month, the Citizens Police Academy will focus on a different topic.

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