DeSoto Police, Clergy and community
The DeSoto Police, Clergy and Community (DPCC) is a collaboration between the DeSoto Police Department (DPD), faith leaders, service organizations, and concerned citizens who live in or have interest in DeSoto to serve citizens in our community.
The DeSoto Police, Clergy and Community’s mission is to collaborate with the DeSoto Police Department to enhance relationships with the community, service organizations, and faith leaders in the city of DeSoto.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVISORY COMMISSION (DVAC): Two members of DPCC serve on this commission, which provides advice and recommendations to the City Council and DeSoto Police Department on how to improve the city’s response to violence against victims, and institute other programs, with the goal of eliminating domestic violence in totality in the city.
Curtistene McCowan Citizenship Award Flyer
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In 2010, discussions were held to address the growing violence among youth in the community; and thus, DeSoto Police and Clergy “DPAC” was officially formed. It was later changed to DeSoto Police, Clergy and Community (DPCC) to be more inclusive of who we represent. Monthly meetings are held to strategize on how to address important topics that affect our community.The collaboration of numerous churches and the DeSoto Police Department led to the implementation of several important programs, including “Minister on Call” (MOC), later changed to Layperson On Call (LOC) that have been trained, “Gang Prevention & Behavioral Management Ministry Programs,” “Tutorial Programs,” and “Counseling, Mentoring & Parenting Programs.” DPCC is a volunteer-based committee and continues to grow. It reflects a community working together to solve issues of concern.
According to former DeSoto Mayor Pro Tem, Denise Valentine, the coalition was not a new idea, it had been implemented in other cities and communities across the United States. Denise learned about the program by attending a workshop in Fort Worth, Texas, given by leaders of the organization called “Uniting Clergy and Police.” Denise, Rev. Oscar Epps, Pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church in DeSoto, and Former DeSoto Police Chief Mike Brodnax, subsequently met with the Fort Worth coalition and created the DeSoto alliance customizing it to match the needs of our community.
The ministers attended formal training similar to the curriculum for Citizen Police Academy. The training sessions were to ensure that ministers understood the policies and procedures of the DeSoto Police Department. Ministers also shared information about the ministries available through their own churches. Some had programs in place to provide counseling for family violence, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, support groups for Child Sexual Abuse, etc.
They also had special outreach ministries for our youth. The sessions were opportunities to exchange information and forge a solid working relationship. Through this coalition with the DeSoto Police Department, ministers from various faith groups volunteered to be “on call” when a family member, victim, or perpetrator, requested ministerial counseling
WHAT DPCC WILL DO IN DESOTO
- Support Youth Initiatives
Join with other community partners to host, educate, advocate, reduce crime and recognize youth. Example: Honoring 2020 DeSoto High School (DHS) Graduates, serve as safety volunteer at all DHS home football games, mentor Desoto Independent School District (ISD) students, volunteer at youth educational programs and TEEN events.
- Educate Community
Bring in expert speakers, and host community training as well as town halls. Example: Mental Health Awareness, Domestic Violence, Breast Cancer, Covid-19, Meet the Candidates Forum, and Stop the Bleed.
- Discourage Violence
Collaborate with other groups to stand for non-violent efforts to create a safer community. Example: Partnering with DVAC, serve as security volunteers at all DHS home football games.
- Encourage Faith/Uplift Citizens During Crisis
Support, host, and lead meetings and events that will encourage participants to walk in faith. Example: Coordination of Kneeling Together, National Day of Prayer Speakers, members providing motivational words at community events and monthly meetings, Layperson on Call and members visiting Desoto jail to speak with offenders.
DeSoto Police, Clergy and Community, Layperson On Call, can be called in to provide Spiritual and emotional support for situation such as family violence, car accidents, or death notifications.
You will also see DPCC members at athletic events and other public gatherings.
The DPCC program marked its12th full year of operation in April 2022.
We look forward to growing the program by increasing the number of ministers and laypersons in DPCC.