Community engagement illuminates Cape Girardeau Police Department’s plans in ’23

April 6 marks the beginning of a nine-week Citizens Police Academy class

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Violent crime in Cape Girardeau has trended downward the previous few years.

Cape Girardeau Police Department Public Information Officer Bobby Newton has made it the department’s mission to engage with the community.

“One of our goals is to have that two-way street with the citizens so when they do see us out, they can approach us and let us know what’s going on in their neighborhoods,” he said.

Speaking of community engagement, the department announced their Citizens Police Academy, a nine-week class during which community members will go through similar training as the officers at the department do.

The academy commences April 6. 

“We want to be transparent with the community, and in order to do that, we want the community to be involved with the police department, so that’s the best way to do that is just to invite them in, let them see what we do every day,” said Newton.  

In the last 10 years, crime has gone down by nearly 45 percent in Cape and has trended downward every year since 2019.

Newton says an increased police presence has made a difference.

“We contribute a lot of that to more officers on the street,” Newton said. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve added several more officers, and we’ve also started sponsoring officers through the academy and get them graduated and out on the road to serve also.” 

Sherry Moore moved to Cape Girardeau with her family 40 years ago when she was 16.

She said the police department has taken the initiative to let the younger generation know they are there for them.

“They have stepped in and put on some, to let the children know, and the young men, that they are not going to be messing with them and making them look bad and stuff like that,” said Moore.

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