The St. Louis County Police West County Precinct and the Islamic Foundation are working to together to offer the first ever Citizen Police Academy at the Daar-ul-Islam Mosque located at Weidman and Manchester roads. This is the first time the course has been offered by St. Louis County Police at a mosque and the first time the mosque has had such a course available to members.
Adil Imdad is the outreach and community relations program coordinator for the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. He is also the chairman of social services for the foundation.
"I'm going to encourage everybody to attend. This is something that is for extra knowledge," Imdad tells Patch. He said the course will teach area Muslims about the police department and how it conducts investigations. "They get know to us and we get them to know them."
Imdad said there are many Muslim immigrants in the St. Louis area who are not familiar with local law enforcement and how it works. Imdad said the course will be available to all area Muslims, not just members of the mosque.
"This is something that will be beneficial to them. To know the police and how they protect them. "
Imdad said the opportunity came about last month during Ramadan. St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch was invited to a community outreach program at the West County mosque and Fitch reached out to the Muslim community and offered to provide the course.
In a news release, Fitch stated, "The Citizens Police Academy creates the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the officers who serve and protect your community. Participants learn about what steps they can take to avoid becoming the victim of a crime and they get an inside look at how the County Police Department operates. Instead of relying on television or Hollywood, graduates of these academies can gain personal knowledge and experience in how actual police officers patrol their beats, conduct traffic stops and investigate crime. Classes are instructed by law enforcement professionals in various fields."
This Citizens Police Academy training is specifically tailored to members of area mosques, police stated in a news release.
The course will offer eight classes to all members of the Islamic Foundation. It will run every Wednesday 6 to 8 p.m. from Nov. 14 to Jan. 16, 2013.
The academy is free of charge, but advanced registration is required.