Yet when the City of Garden City offers an opportunity for citizens to learn more about those functions through citizens' academies, the response at times has been less than enthusiastic.
Local residents should consider another opportunity to get involved that is drawing near in the city's Citizens' Police Academy.
Law enforcement officials consider the program a way to enhance the working relationship between residents and police officers. Subjects planned include crime-scene investigations, gang activity, the police department hiring process, school resource officers, K-9 unit, firearms and much more.
Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and observe local law enforcement operations, and gain a better understanding of how public employees work to make the community a better, safer place to live.
This year's academy begins Jan. 18 and consists of eight sessions from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Anyone interested should contact the Garden City Police Department, 304 N. Ninth St., during normal business hours, or online at gcpolice.org. The deadline to register is Jan. 10.
Citizens should want to take an inside look at law enforcement, and take advantage of an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns on those efforts.
Another plus of the experience would be in encouraging participants to consider work in law enforcement, or even future government involvement through advisory boards or elected office.
Garden City leaders want citizens to see firsthand how local government functions. They also view such programs as an opportunity to enhance communication with residents.
We'd expect local law enforcement officers involved in the Citizens' Police Academy to take participants' questions and concerns to heart, and turn the exercise into a learning experience for both sides.
All involved have much to gain from an interesting program in place to help citizens better understand and, hopefully, offer ways to improve the important law enforcement work that goes on every day in the community.