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Leadership Group Gets Public Safety View
Leadership participant Michelle McKinsey is shown receiving instruction by Lt. Vernon Gladney of the Oakdale Police Department at the gun range. - photo by Photo Courtesy Oakdale Chamber Of Commerce
A group of six community members enrolled in the Leadership course sponsored by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce took a day to get an up-close and personal view of the issues inherent to public safety by spending a day with the police department, Thursday, June 25.
The purpose of the class is to give participants an overview of the various inner workings of business, government, agriculture, health services, education, social/cultural, and communication in the area. It also gives potential leaders a well-rounded educational and networking experience through a process that will identify and help develop informed, civic-oriented leaders who will help direct the future of Oakdale, according to Chamber top executive, Mary Guardiola.
“There’s so many people who want to learn more about their community,” Guardiola said of the second annual course offering. “We market it to our entire membership but we’ve seen a lot of repeat businesses and organizations choosing to be involved. The businesses are seeing a benefit in having their staff trained in the community.”
The course, which lasts nine months, costs $500, and at the completion of the course, participants receive a plaque and an increased understanding of the inner workings of their community.
It doesn’t look terrible on a résumé either.
“It’s another feather in their cap,” Guardiola said.
The six members, comprised of Gretchen Haidlen Poncabare, Michelle McKinsey, Eric Thorburn, David Rodrigues, Mike Eggener and Laura Weaver kicked off the day with a presentation by Lt. Vernon Gladney and Community Services Officer Ann Farmer on the Neighborhood and Business Watch, followed by a presentation by Lt. Lester Jenkins on goals designed to reduce crime.
Officers trained in traffic and patrol talked about the Lo Jack and radar enforcement while another set of trained professionals discussed video and mobile fingerprint technology.
Some discussion was held on police/community events such as the upcoming National Night Out as well as the Chaplain program and the senior outreach.
The day was capped with a trip to the gun range where participants got the opportunity to fire off a few rounds in a safe and controlled environment.