Academy Session Community Engagement Day
Academy recruits from the 65th session will graduate on Friday, December 11, and begin their law enforcement career with a Field Training Instructor. To better prepare them for this challenge, they were given a unique opportunity today as they toured several neighborhoods within the Mount Vernon Police District.
Led by Academy staff and Mattie Palmore, a community leader and retired Magistrate for Fairfax County, they were given an invaluable amount of insight on community engagement topics. Palmore has served her community in a variety of different roles for more than 30 years. She has been a tireless advocate for housing the homeless, physically and mentally challenged, as well as youth and senior citizens. She used her experience as a victim of abuse to form The Women’s Group of Mount Vernon and has since assisted countless women and children.
The recruits traveled by bus and visited numerous neighborhoods and community centers throughout the Mount Vernon area. They had an opportunity to speak with other community leaders and residents and gained insight on their perspectives.
Areas of discussion included the importance of identifying different communities and responding to their individual needs, learning how various communities view law enforcement, gaining an understanding of successful engagement efforts by current and former officers, as well as Mattie Palmore’s perspective as a Magistrate and community member. The recruits learned the importance of looking beyond the police report and focusing on the needs of the family.
The department, academy staff and recruits thank Ms. Palmore for her dedication and time given to this vital effort. The opportunity will aid these recruits as they prepare to graduate and enter our diverse community as police officers who will work diligently to serve and protect.