DeSoto Police and Clergy
A coalition formed between the DeSoto police and the Ministers who live in DeSoto or serve citizens in our community. DeSoto Police and Clergy, DPAC, was formed to help our community address the root causes of violence in the community.
DeSoto Police and Clergy (DPAC) partner with the police department as a resource for the community. DPAC provides tools to help area youth achieve great things, and strengthen and assist families in preventing negative outcomes that can hinder their well-being.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVISORY COMMISSION: One member of DPAC serves 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.
In 2010, we began discussions to address the growing violence among youth in the community; and thus, DeSoto Police and Clergy “DPAC” was officially formed. Monthly meetings are held to strategize on how to address important topics that affect our community. This collaboration of numerous churches and the police department led to the implementation of several important programs, including “Minister on Call”, “Gang Prevention & Behavioral Management Ministry Programs”, Tutorial Programs, and Counseling, Mentoring & Parenting Programs. DPAC is a volunteer based organization and continues to grow. It reflects a community working together to solve issues of concern.
“This coalition is not a new idea, it has been implemented in other cities and communities across the United States”, according to former DeSoto Mayor Pro Tem, Denise Valentine. “I learned about the program by attending a workshop in Fort Worth given by leaders of the organization called “Uniting Clergy and Police”, said Valentine. 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 attend formal training similar to the curriculum for Citizen Police Academy. The training sessions ensure that the ministers understand the policies and procedures of the police department. Ministers also share information about the ministries available through their own churches. Some have programs in place to provide counseling for family violence, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, support groups for Child Sexual Abuse, etc. They also have special outreach ministries for our youth. The sessions are an opportunity to exchange information and forge a solid working relationship. Through this coalition with the police department, ministers from various faith groups are volunteering to be “on call” when a family member, victim or perpetrator, requests ministerial counseling.
DeSoto Police and Clergy (DPAC) can be called in to provide ministerial counseling for family violence situations, car accidents, or disruptive behavior among our adolescents.
You will also see them at athletic events and other public gatherings.
The DPAC program has marked its 6th full year of operation in April 2016.
We look forward to growing the program by increasing the number of ministers involved and invite ministers in the DeSoto area to join the team at the DeSoto Police Department.