Garden City 'Fair & Impartial Police' training course - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Garden City 'Fair & Impartial Police' training course

GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) -

It seems we hear way too much about the tension between police and the community. The one thing to remember is police are a part of the community.

They are people, parents, coaches, church leaders, in the community. In Garden City, police officers are taking a step back, getting a refresher course, on what it's like to be the one not wearing the badge.

Garden City Police officers are taking a look in the mirror, to see how the public perceives them.

The Fair and Impartial Police training course is meant to refresh officers on how they are supposed to do their job without bias or stereotype.

"We get looked at all the time and they don't even know who we are but they already decided what they think. When you are dealing with the public keep an open mind,” said Sgt. Brian Hood, Garden City Police.

Keeping an open mind and the ability to listen are the two things people seem to want from officers.

“It's about the community right? You are a part of the community. When you are not working what are you? You are a part of the community, when you are working, you are still a part of the community,” said Capt. Gil Ballard, Garden City Police.

Stg. Hood added, “Have to go out keep an open mind, but also have to keep in mind it's a dangerous job. Trying to balance that can be tough.”

Each interaction officers have, even with a suspect, may help years down the road.

“You caught her, she turned herself in. You were polite, you processed her in, and she got out. Three years later, she is the victim of a crime. She helps us piece it together to get another criminal. She still called us back and trusted us,” said Lt. Tim McMillan, Garden City Police.

But trust and an open mind is a two-way street because police have to be on guard all the time.

“You have to think tactical at all times. But at the same time you have to listen to people on the street, let them talk to you. But basically thinking a second a head or two seconds ahead of them at all times. It's really tough, it's stressful,” said Sgt. Hood.

The Fair and Impartial Police training was made possible through a partnership between Garden City Police and Armstrong State University.

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