DeSoto’s Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association Helping the PD For Over 25 years

Ray Dent and Police Chief Joe Costa
DeSoto Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association President Ray Dent with DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa Photo Credit: Desoto Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association

DCPAAA Assists DeSoto Police Department With Fundraisers & More

DESOTO – While Police Departments around the nation are constantly looking for ways to forge better relationships with residents, the City of Desoto’s Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (DCPAAA) is among those leading the way.

The DCPAAA is 501.3c non-profit organization. President Ray Dent said they have been supporting the DeSoto Police Department for over 25 years.

Dent has been a member of the DCPAAA for approximately 10 years and is a graduate of Class number 37. He has also served in various officer positions in addition to President and he positions of Treasurer and Secretary.

“The DCPAAA was established to form bonds within the community to assist and support the DeSoto Police Department with both volunteer hours and financial support,” Dent explained. “More than 750 volunteer hours were provided in 2020, even during the pandemic.”

An Important Resource For The Community

The DCPAAA members are often called upon to work side by side with police officers at the police station, in the jail and on the streets of DeSoto. They assist in a variety of functions ranging from administrative to community assistance.

In fact, the DCPAAA has become a very important resource to both the police department and the community of DeSoto, Dent said. It “participates in both fund raising and other support activities such as the Senior Symposium, Adopt-A-Street, July 4th Holiday Events, Annual Desoto Cleanup Day, Texas Night Out and Hometown Holiday.”

In order to become a member of the DCPAAA, a person must attend and graduate from the DeSoto Citizens Police Academy. The academy is a free 10-week interactive class designed for those who live or work in DeSoto. Through the academy, the students participate in training for topics that includes Narcotics, Patrol, DWI Education, Crime Scene, Policy & Procedures, Dispatch and even Gun Range Training.

In December 2019, DeSoto CPA Class number 46 graduated 13 students. Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, there was no academy hosted in 2020.

An Opportunity To Get To Know First Responders

“The overall objective of the Academy is to provide citizens with sound and accurate information about their police department,” said DeSoto Lieutenant Grady Kirkland. “It is important that citizens and business owners interact with their first responders in an environment that is not considered an emergency or crisis. This gives citizens and the police officers that serve them an opportunity to get to know one another personally and helps alleviate misunderstandings the citizens may have about policing.”

The DeSoto Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association operates under the umbrella of the DeSoto Police Department. Graduates of the Citizen Police Academy formed the association to provide support for the DeSoto Police Department. Over the years the organization has continued to prove that they are a very important resource for the Police Department and the City of DeSoto.

Dent said his current goals and objectives as president is to help promote the alumni to citizens and businesses in DeSoto.

Seeking Financial Sponsors

“Also, we are looking for citizens and businesses to become financial sponsors to help us assist with supporting the DPD,” Dent added. “We are fortunate to have a wonderful chief, Chief Joe Costa. It is a pleasure working with Chief Costa and the police officers as well as the individuals who are citizens that work in administration. I have had the pleasure of working and getting to know the police liaison to the alumni such as Officer Sherman Williams, Officer Jessica Ryan, Lt. Grady Kirkland and our current liaison Sgt. Mike Edwards. Getting to know these individuals on a personal level means a world of a difference to me and I know it would for the residents of DeSoto.”

The next academy is scheduled to begin September 7, 2021. To qualify for the academy you must either live in or work in the city of DeSoto. For additional information, you can contact either Officer Jessica Ryan or Sgt. Mike Edwards at 469-658-3000.

“It’s a good program and we’re glad that our community continues to show interest in getting to know us,” Kirkland concluded.