Dexter area residents are being offered a way to support their community in times of crisis.
The Michigan State Police (MSP) are looking for volunteers to join its CAUTION initiative, which stands for Community Action United Team in Our Neighborhood. CAUTION is a partnership between the MSP and clergy and faith group members of all faiths that works to increase trust and communication between law enforcement and residents.
The MSP created CAUTION in 2012 at the Flint Post. Since that time, the program has expanded to include faith leaders in Saginaw, Inkster, Muskegon Heights and Benton Harbor, with a total of 103 trained volunteers currently participating in the program. Due to the program’s success, CAUTION is expanding statewide in 2018 to each of MSP’s 30 posts.
CAUTION members meet regularly with post personnel to encourage dialog and information-sharing. They can also be activated to respond alongside law enforcement at crime scenes to ease tensions and provide emotional support to residents. CAUTION members will partner with MSP members at civic events and diversionary events that seek to deter future criminal behavior in their communities.
The MSP provides various training to CAUTION volunteers, some which includes courses in critical incident defusing/debriefing, security in places of worship, responding with law enforcement in a crisis, avoiding caregiver burnout and clergy’s role at a critical incident scene. There is also an annual statewide CAUTION conference.
Interested individuals can contact their nearest Community Service Trooper (CST) to learn more. For a list of CSTs, visit http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1878_63868_63877—,00.html.