The Frederick Police Department held it’s fourth annual Crime Summit Saturday, allowing community members to get a deeper understanding of what they do and how they serve the city.
The summit, held at the Federick Police Training Academy on Plant Road, offered different workshops and demonstrations ranging from gang awareness, DUI and drug recognition and harm reduction.
“Each year we pick different topics that are relevant to what we’re seeing in the community,” said Michele Bowman, public information and outreach coordinator for FPD. “It gives the community an opportunity to learn about some of the things that we have to offer in the department.”
The summit was started after FPD Chief Ed Hargis wanted a way to reach the community and to teach them more about what the department does.
One of the workshops offered this year was IT revolution in law enforcement where attendees learned about body cameras, drones and different programs the department is using.
Lt. Aaron Lapp, commander of the Technology and Services Division for FPD, headed the workshop and went over what the department is doing currently with technology, where they came from in the past and what we’re looking at in the future.
A project the department is working on right now is outfitting all of their officers with body cameras. Currently the department has 18 body cameras, three cameras are issued to each of the six patrol shifts, Lapp said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to talk to the public to let them know what we’re doing and to give them some of the behind the scenes,” he said.
He wants them to take away a better awareness of how FPD is trying to better serve the community and the steps they’re taking to get there.
About 40 people attended this year’s event; the summit sees about the same number each year, Bowman said.
Another popular exercise was the Drunk Buster recognition. Community members got to pedal the drunk buster cart while wearing DUI goggles and trying to maneuver around cones. The exercise was to simulate the dangers one experiences when driving under the influence of alcohol.
Frederick resident, Carol Williams, pedaled the cart with the DUI goggles that simulated a driver’s eye sight with the blood alcohol level of .26.
“For me I saw two cones,” she said. “I didn’t know where to go, it was very hard.”
She missed going around one cone, but she found the exercise challenging and fun.
She came out to the summit with an interested in learning more about how the police serve the community.
“I think we’re more aware of what they’re facing,” she said. “I just think it’s a good thing for the community. It really puts us in touch with the officers and what they do.”