Citizens' patrol to keep harmony

Updated: 2011-11-29 06:47

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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 Citizens' patrol to keep harmony

Construction workers listen to a lecture on safety by police officer Luo Jian in Beijing’s Fengtai district. The talk is part of a pilot program for the Citizens’ Police Academy. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

BEIJING - Residents can now visit the new Citizens' Police Academy (CPA) to brush up their knowledge of how the security forces work.

"The CPA, launched on Nov 26, is a nonprofit training institute targeted at people from every walk of life across the city, aiming to popularize awareness of security issues and promote better understanding of police work," Zi Xiangdong, spokesman of Beijing public security bureau, said on Sunday.

"We also want to be closer (to civilians) and establish more harmonious relationship with them in this way," Zi said, adding this school will shape up as a brand representing the capital's police officers.

Within a day of its opening, about 600 citizens, including private company employees, university students and retired people, had voluntarily registered to become the first batch of members, he said.

Trainees, including foreigners who live or work in the city, could learn how to protect themselves from fire, explosion, drowning, food poisoning, electric shocks and traffic accidents, and will get a certificate after completing the course, he said.

"Members who graduate from the CPA will be preferred when they sign up to take exams qualifying them for posts of secretary or security guard in public security departments," he said, adding that this might be an incentive for university students to join.

Interested people can register on the micro-blogging site run by the public security bureau, which would continue to publish more information about CPA, he added.

Some police stations have started studying this project as a pilot program.

Luo Jian, a police officer from Donggaodi station in Fengtai district, told China Daily they have begun three classes with more than 60 trainees, comprising migrant workers and university students, since July.

"We have organized for them to visit the police museum and invited firefighters to introduce fire prevention knowledge," he said, adding that the average age of members is around 50.

The CPA, the idea of which originated in the United States in the 1980s, could make up for the shortage of police officers and avoid misunderstandings between police officers and residents, he said.

Currently, trainees in Fengtai will graduate after finishing six courses, but different districts might run different courses in line with local residents' demands, he added.

Wang Yu, a police officer in Chaoyang district, echoed Luo, saying her colleagues have started teaching citizens in other areas of the city to use extinguishers and have been explaining the new regulations.

"What we should do is to provide abundant courses and run them regularly," she said.

However, Qiu Shanshan, a 24-year-old graduate student at Beijing Normal University, said younger people might not be interested in the CPA, because they preferred to rest at home after a busy week.

Luo said the online CPA, which was established in Fengtai in August and will be extended to the whole city soon, could dispel Qiu's misgivings. The city's police officers will walk into kindergartens, schools and universities to teach seemingly boring theories in vivid ways, he added.