The Opelika Police Department has launched a Community Relations/Special Services Division, which will focus on engaging with the citizens and improving cultural and employee relations.
Patrol Division Capt. Shane Healey will run the new program, according to a city new release.
He will oversee community relations initiatives, public information officer, recruiting, hiring, the DARE program, school resource officers, officer training and policy development.
Healey and several officers participated in last month’s Juneteenth celebration on the city’s Courthouse Square. He pledged to the several hundred residents that his officers would continue to protect and listen to them.
“You guys are the community. We’re your police. We’re trying to keep you safe, to give you a good quality of life and treat everybody with respect. We need to do better at some of the things we do, and we promise that we’re going to do that. And we’re willing to sit down and listen and talk and figure things out,” Healey told that crowd.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said in the city’s news release that Healey is the right man for the new job.
“The police department is doing great things, but we recognize that we can do better. We need to better communicate and engage. We need to be open to what our community has to say,” Fuller stated. “Basically, we need to stop and listen. Capt. Healey is an asset to the department. He knows the community and is ready to mend any broken relationships in our community and build new ones.”
Several other employees will receive promotions:
Lt. Tony Amerson, to captain of the OPD Patrol Division.
Sgt. Richard Converse, to lieutenant of the OPD Patrol Division.
Patrolman Brian Krug, to sergeant of the OPD Patrol Division.
“These three men are great assets to our department and will do an outstanding job in their new roles. They have served our department with integrity and deserve the recognition and promotion,” police Chief John McEachern said.
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