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Paducah Police Officers Graduate CLA Program
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - The Paducah Police Department is congratulating five Paducah police officers that graduated from the Cultural Leadership Academy (CLA) on Thursday.

This marks the fifth year for the academy, which includes eight blocks of classroom work spread over two semesters, with field assignments.

During the ceremony at Murray State University's Paducah campus, Detective Nathan Jaimet, Officer Eric Abbott, Officer Brandon Jones, Officer Codey Strong, and Officer Jon Wentworth were all presented with certificates of completion. The raises the number of officers that have completed the CLA to 31.

In 2016, the Paducah Police Department joined together with Murray State University's College of Education and Human Services to form the CLA. The program provides officers with advanced training opportunities that are centered on diversity awareness. The program was started with grant assistance from the Police Foundation of Paducah-McCracken County Inc. and the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust.

“In light of recent events throughout the country, the Cultural Leadership Academy is more relevant and vital to our officers than ever before,” said Chief of Police Brian Laird. “It teaches about cultural diversity and broadens officers’ understanding of our community as a whole.”

Murray State University Drs. Teresa Clark and Landon Clark are co-organizers of the CLA, working alongside then-Assistant Chief Brian Krueger. The Clarks still conduct the academy.

“Landon and I have really valued our partnership with the Paducah Police Department,” Teresa Clark said. “Each year, the officers are very engaged and participate in discussions. We have a lot of difficult discussions.”

Clark hopes that the material covered in the modules helps officers as they perform their daily duties.

“The Paducah Police Department was very proactive in reaching out several years ago and exploring a program that would focus on cultural leadership, and we’ve been so glad to be a part of that,” she said. “It really shows the dedication of the police department to maintain positive relationships with the local community.”

You can learn more about the CLA and how your local law enforcement agency can participate by contacting Dr. Teresa Clark at 270-809-6956.

Published 03:28 PM, Friday Sep. 25, 2020
Updated 02:37 PM, Friday Sep. 25, 2020

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