Three members of the Austin Alumni Association traveled to Arlington, Texas, to participate in the annual training convention July 24 – 27, 2013, for Citizen Police Academy (CPA) members and law enforcement personnel throughout Texas. The convention draws hundreds of attendees from both large and small cities and towns to participate in educational sessions to learn new techniques and processes, share ideas, and get suggestions on how to strengthen and enhance citizen and law enforcement programs and agencies. Convention attendees were welcomed by the Mayor and Police Chief of the City of Arlington and enjoyed the many learning opportunities provided.
Melinda Rodriguez, Dee Mickelson, and Susan Reed represented the Austin CPAAA and participated in varied sessions as Electronic Crimes Cyber-based Attacks, First Responder to a Crisis Situation, Texas Weapons Law, the Dallas Terrorist Bombing Incident, Solving a Murder, Active Shooter, Stranger Danger Adult Style, 501(c)(3) Operation, and Racial Profiling. In addition, one of the most valuable sessions attended was the CPA Roundtable where topic tables were facilitated by CPA Coordinators from around Texas to provide specific information on successful activities / programs and to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences among Alumni members. Among the topics were Meeting Topics and Speakers, Community Projects, and Fund Raisers.
The final session, “Chiefs’ Round Table,” was held on July 27, and included police chiefs and sheriffs from about eight communities in the North Texas area who addressed how they support and manage many of the activities, initiatives, and programs that are conducted by their CPA and Citizens On Patrol (COP) organizations. Recurring comments from the law enforcement officials regarding their CPA / COP programs were (1) the high degree of ability and talent available in their volunteers and utilizing these individuals in many ways throughout their departments; and (2) using CPA / COP programs to help law enforcement agencies be a part of the community rather than a segregated para-military organization separated from the citizens.
The 2014 Texas CPAAA Convention will be held in San Marcos. Members of the Austin CPAAA are encouraged to attend.