The United States Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services awarded Yavapai College Justice Institute a $29,455 grant to fund a year of Peace Officer trainings with the national non-profit, Police2Peace.

Former Prescott Police Chief and YC Justice Studies instructor Jerald Monahan says the trainings help foster a broader mindset among officers about the role policing plays in our communities.

“The project [has] our police officers and deputies thinking about the roots of our calling.” He says. “They do enforce the law and make arrests. But as we think about what our officers do on a daily basis, the majority of time is spent in service activities, connecting with the community –keeping the peace, so to speak.” Over 40 states across the nation certify their officers as “Peace Officers.”

“This project will emphasize that mindset of service as peacekeepers. The training modules offered in Yavapai County will include police leaders, elected officials, community members, and union/association leaders.”

Active in 49 states, Police2Peace is a non-profit organization dedicated to building public trust, strengthening community ties, and changing the culture of policing nationwide. The grant was announced in mid-October, as part of the Department of Justice’s $33 million-dollar Community Oriented Policing (COPS) initiative. Yavapai College Campus Safety is one of only six Arizona grant recipients, and one 166 recipients nationwide.

“This project will also provide for community forums and youth forums to receive input from both groups about their thoughts on the policing profession and the philosophy of the mindset of Peace Officer versus Law Enforcement officer.” Monahan said.

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is the DOJ component responsible for advancing the practice of community policing within state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies. The office awards grants to local agencies to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to support and advance community policing.

Work on the program begins this month, with Police2Peace trainers interviewing local law enforcement to customize the training curriculum to Yavapai County. For more information, please contact Yavapai College Justice Institute at: (928) 776-2184, or contact director Monahan by email at: