Danville, Virginia – Nine new police officers are already making a difference in Danville by focusing on community policing.
“Without the community, the police cannot do their job,” said police officer Erica Lewis.
Lewis was one of nine new officers graduating from the Community Leadership and Immersion Program (aka CLIP) on Friday.
Month-long sessions help new Danville officers interact with nearly 50 local leaders.
“It made it easier for people to connect with me and talk to me,” Lewis said.
This program is a partnership between the Danville Police Department and Averett University.
“We want officers to be immersed in the community so they can better understand the context of the Danville community before they even step foot on the scene,” said Jennifer Bowles, public relations specialist for the Danville Police Department.
As part of their training, officers completed a group project to help the community. They built four “peace pantries” around Danville. Here you can donate non-perishable food to those in need.
“It’s a lesson, but it’s also an experience that gives back and helps everyone,” Lewis said.
Officials have identified local organizations that help fight food shortages, including the Salvation Army and House of Hope Homeless Shelter, but some are not open 24/7 and require an application.
The new pantry is located outdoors, is never locked, and does not require a permit to access.
“Do you need a late-night meal or do you need to take the kids back to school for the weekend to eat? Go to the pantry. That’s why it’s there,” said Officer Clint Carty. rice field.
Officers said more than 6,600 people in Danville are considered “food insecure” every day. Either you are struggling to find food or you are going without food. Her one in three children living in Danville is considered “food insecure”.
Alumni see their new pantry as a way to build relationships with people.
“We’re just people and we want the best for their community as much as they do. How can we work together?” Carty said.
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