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New “Picture Project” decks the halls of police headquarters
West Chester Police officers have a little something extra to look forward to when they report for duty each day thanks to a thoughtful gift from a proud supporter.
Jeri Moose recently donated a vibrant 11-piece acrylic photography installation to the West Chester Police Department. Her gift now adorns the walls of the main corridor of police headquarters and her generosity has sparked an ongoing effort, the West Chester Police Department Picture Project.
A resident since 2014, Jeri first became involved with West Chester Police through its Citizen Police Academy (CPA), a free 10-week class open to adults. Citizen Police Academy gives civilians a closer look at the inner workings of the police department and fosters community relationships.
“I’ve been very active with the CPA Alumni Association and I just thought, ‘Here’s my chance to do something for the West Chester Police Department,’ because they did so much for me by allowing me give back as a volunteer,” said Jeri, who graduated from the thirteenth CPA class in 2015.
The CPA Alumni Association is made up of about 90 members who participated in CPA over the years. The CPA alumni give of their time and energy, serving as ambassadors at public events like monthly Coffee with a Cop meet-ups and facilitating some community programs like the department’s Child ID initiative. All graduates of the Citizen Police Academy are eligible to join its alumni association, and members meet with police monthly for seminars and continued learning experiences.
Each photograph in the WCPD Picture Project features a different aspect of community policing. Subjects include Honor Guard, K9 officers, SWAT training, and scenes from community outreach events like Touch A Truck. There are even some archive photos of classic cruisers and equipment from the early days when West Chester was known as Union Township.
Police officials say the new artwork has boosted morale and encouraged greater camaraderie and appreciation for the department’s history. The photos also brighten the hallways at headquarters and make the police station feel more homelike and inviting for outside visitors who come into the station for tours, training and programs, police say.
Together, West Chester Police and the CPA Alumni Association hope to continue adding more photos to the collection.
Jeri, who spent time in the area as a child before moving away and coming back, says she has always been impressed by how well the West Chester community supports its police officers, firefighters and public servants. While personal recognition was not a motivating factor to start the WCPD Picture Project, Jeri says she does hope her actions may inspire others.
The WCPD Picture Project is also made possible by V.I.P. Printing & Design and Canville Rubber Stamps & Engraving. If you’d like to learn more or become a contributor, visit www.wccpaaa.org.
To enroll in Citizen Police Academy, which begins Wednesday, April 3, download an application or pick up a paper version in person at Township offices. Participants must be 21 years or older and priority will be given to those who live or work in West Chester. The class is held twice per year with the fall session beginning Wednesday, Sept. 4.