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Goal of event is to help police become partners with citizens

August 08, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Bicycles on the sidewalk, loud stereos after 10 at night, someone parking in your handicapped spot - these complaints are heard over and over in a police officer's day.

While most agree they may seem petty compared with murders and robberies, it's these kinds of calls that affect more citizens than the kinds of crimes portrayed on television.

Helping citizens and police become partners in fighting crime - big and small - is the goal of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute, which is sponsoring a community policing academy Oct. 8-9 at the Community Building in Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport.

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"We don't want all police at this thing ... it's no good unless there are regular citizens sitting there beside the police officers," said 1st Sgt. Gail Treglia, a 23-year veteran with the Maryland State Police who serves as deputy director of the institute in Baltimore.

Treglia said that encouraging teens to attend the two-day academy could also help to bridge the gap that sometimes occurs between police and residents.

First Sgt. Robert Leatherman of the Washington County Sheriff's Department said all the resident deputies will be attending the academy.

"We did it in Walkersville recently and a lot of things came up," Treglia said. "Those resident deputies weren't aware of many of the problems expressed by citizens. Now they meet regularly with citizens."

The whole concept is geared to problems and how to solve them, she said.

Questions about the workshop and how to register can be directed to Treglia at 1-410-516-0790, or to Sgt. Steve McCarty at 301-739-2101.

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