One of the major goals of Chief Tim Lentz when taking office was the adoption of a community policing philosophy. Mayor Mike Cooper and Chief Lentz realize that an effective policing strategy requires the involvement of the community, the police department, and the city as a whole.
The Covington Police Department has partnered with GSRCPI (Gulf States Regional Center for Public Safety Innovations), a federally funded organization, to formally adopt a community policing philosophy. The success of this philosophy depends on positive interaction and input from the citizens of Covington and City government, not just the police department.
Chief Lentz recently visited the Madison, AL Police Department, a model agency for community policing, who has experienced some of the same issues as the Covington Police Department. Madison Police have been a finalist multiple years for the distinguished International Association of Chiefs of Police Community Policing Award. The Madison Police Department demonstrated the implementation of their community policing philosophy and how it has promoted a positive relationship with their community, as well as more effective policing.
The implementation of our community policing model began with a seminar for all City government managers. The seminar focused on effective communications between the different departments and demonstrated how a successful model promotes positive relationships with our citizens. The seminar for city government managers was followed with seminars for Covington Police Department supervisors and other employees. Mayor Cooper stated, “ I am committed to making sure expectations are set and expressed to each employee as well as expectations and goals for serving our citizens are established.”
A final seminar designed for the community will also be held. It will demonstrate the community policing philosophy and how the community can become involved in the operation of their police department. This seminar will be held at the Covington Police Department administration building, 609 N Columbia Street, on Tuesday, April 29th, at 6:30 PM. This seminar is open to all members of the public, and will last for approximately two hours. Chief Lentz states, “The Covington Police Department is dedicated to serving our community in the most effective way possible. Our success depends on our relationship with the community. We welcome all members of the public to join us in implementing this philosophy and guiding the direction of their police department.”