LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — The Little Rock police department is training recruits with tours across the city with a brand new program.
Two Little Rock police recruitment classes went on the very first multicultural tour. And Katlyn Gardenhire tagged along. The goal is to show officers the diversity they'll be dealing with on the job.
Public Coordinator for the Little Rock Police Department, Victoria Brown said it's very important for officers to be able to relate or understand everyone that makes up the city.
“For today we started off a the Clinton museum and we had a special showcase on Mandela and different things about the city of Little Rock,” she said.
Their next stop was the Islamic Center, recruit Hatley said it was an eye-opening experience for her and her coworkers.
“It's very interesting, especially walking in and having to take our shoes off, it caught me off guard. It was all very interesting,” she said.
The department ended the day at the Central high museum.
"I have wanted to be a police officer my whole life — I am the oldest recruit this year, I'm 46," recruit French said.
“It's actually something I've always wanted to do. I'm good with people and I want to be a part of making the city a better place," recruit Hatley said.
Public Coordinator Victoria Brown said this new program gives officers a rounded perspective of important things in the city.
Recruits, French and Hatley agree. They said with this new training, they'll be able to better serve all the people of Little Rock.
"This is going to give us a better outlook on what the community is involved with around us versus what we've been brought up in," French said.
“We're going to be dealing with people from all walks of life and different kind of regions and races. This tour is giving us a behind the scenes look at what we're actually going into,” Hatley said.
The department said it plans to make these tour a regular part of the police academy.