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lisachesserJanuary 15--  This month's edition of "Georgia's Cities, published by the Georgia Municipal Association, contains an article authored by city council member Lisa Chesser on initiatives taken by the Vidalia Police Department to serve the community.  

Here's the story.

"The Vidalia Police Department has developed service and education programs for our citizens over the past several years.

“Are You Okay?” is a program designed for elderly citizens who live alone, suffer from serious health issues, or are disabled. The program began in 2006 and currently serves approximately 40 citizens. To be placed on the call list, citizens simply subscribe and indicate how many days per week they would like to be called. A call is placed to the resident and if there is no answer, a second call is made. If the second call is not answered, an officer goes to the residence to make personal contact with the citizen. This health and safety program provides an invaluable service not only to our elderly citizens, but also their children and other family members who, often times, live hours away.

"Our police department also conducts a Citizens Police Academy annually. This 11-week course educates attendees on various topics such as police officer hiring process, patrol operations, elder abuse and family violence, driving and firearm simulator training, criminal investigations and ethics and cultural diversity. The department will conduct its fifth class beginning May 2019.

"Another valuable course taught by the officers of Vidalia Police Department is a Women’s Firearm Safety training class. Attendees in the course are required to go through an application and background check process, must have a valid carry permit, own a firearm and provide ammunition. Two sessions are spent in the classroom and the last two sessions are spent on the firing range where attendees receive rigorous instruction on proper safety handling and firing techniques.

"All of these programs are offered free of charge! Vidalia Police officers willingly provide these programs to serve and educate the public, and more importantly, they embrace opportunity to be involved and build relationships with citizens in our community. The programs have received nothing but positive feedback from attendees. We are proud of the men and women who serve our city."