The Apache Junction Police Department has recently reorganized the Community Outreach Program, staffing the position with a sworn police officer.
Having a sworn officer available to disseminate information and answer questions from the public is advantageous for all stakeholders, according to a release.
AJPD Cpl. Marshall Harshman now oversees the newly formed Media Community Liaison Office and he is responsible for several programs that provide community resources to a variety of different people and organizations within the City of Apache Junction.
One of the responsibilities of the MCLO is to create and disseminate press releases and to speak with media representatives concerning the activities of the police department.
It’s also necessary for the Media Community Liaison Office to reach out to the portion of the public that gets their news and information via the Internet and the various social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This has led to the creation of the popular FYI Friday videos.
"Thanks to FYI Friday we get our message out to an estimated additional 30,000 people that we were previously unable to reach through traditional media," the release states.
The Media Community Liaison Office also coordinates the volunteer program at the police department.
"AJPD greatly depends on the many thousands of hours donated by our generous and dedicated citizen volunteers. With so many worthy organizations also seeking volunteer help, it is essential that the MCLO be able to broadcast our needs and recruit fresh volunteers," according to the release.
Various crime-prevention programs are run from the Media Community Liaison Office. Cpl. Harshman conducts meetings and provides training at Neighborhood Watch groups around Apache Junction. In addition to Neighborhood Watch, AJPD is ramping up the Crime Free Multi-housing Program, making it easier for apartment communities to attract and keep quality tenants, the release states.
"With the advancements in the ever changing world of media and technology, AJPD is seeking to update the way we communicate with the public through the Media Community Liaison Office. As your police department, it is our responsibility to disseminate relevant information to the community in a timely and professional manner," the release states.
AJPD is seeking funds to acquire audio/video recording and editing equipment, and computer resources to further develop and strengthen its community outreach.
"These resources will be used to support the various programs for children, adults, and our seniors here in the City of Apache Junction. These programs require printed materials as well as the creation of Internet-based video productions to reach you --- the community we serve," the release states.
If you’re looking to make an end of the year tax deductible donation to this viable community resource, submit that donation to; “Friends of Apache Junction, MCLO," 300 E. Superstition Blvd., Apache Junction, AZ, 85119.
For other methods of donating, call Fox Young at 480-474-5442.