Pastor’s Academy through Columbus Police Department

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:42 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -By day, Brad Giles is the preacher of the Chattahoochee Valley of Christ. Outside the church, he helps fight crime, as a previous student in the Columbus Police Pastor’s Academy. He’s now reconnecting with Assistant Chief of Administration Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick, all to help have a safer community.

“I got to learn a lot of facts, that I didn’t know about policing in Columbus, Georgia because it gave me a new perspective about how law enforcement works in town,” says Giles. This April, Columbus Police will put on this course again, a chance to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. “So we bring in every division, our patrol division, our investigative division, we bring in our support, and of course the administrative division, and we give a little background about what we do because we need their help,” says Dent-Fitzpatrick.

Help that Giles says is important in today’s climate of increased gun violence. “It’s been several really public shootings, lately in town that has people stressed and on edge,” says Giles. Police leadership say the class also helps pastors and church members to understand if you see something, say something. “We’re just entrusting our community to come together and help us combat crime, and help chief Blackmon get things in order, and so this is a way you can help,” says Dent-Fitzpatrick.

It’s a 5-week course, allowing faith-based organizations to learn what happens behind the badge. “And it does not matter, what the denomination is, we just want people who are faith based to come back to take our class,” says Dent-Fitzpatrick.