FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence police recently started its Citizens Police Academy.

The academy is 7-weeks long and is held yearly. The goal is to help locals gain insight into the operations of the police department.

Tuesday’s topic was an introduction to law. Monday’s course was taught by city of Florence prosecuting attorney, Barbara Strowd.

“The city needs to know what the police are doing,” she said. “Especially now, when the police and the community seem to have an adversarial relationship going up and down with things.”

During the academy, Strowd also talked about the importance of learning city ordinances.

“There are specific laws that are just for the city of Florence, including, it’s against the city ordinances to possess rolling papers, which is kind of odd,” she said. “But that’s not a state statute, it’s just for the city of Florence.”

Strowd mentioned the recent changes to city dog ordinances made by Florence City Council that redefines “dangerous dogs.”

“Last year, a dog, a small dog, was killed by another set of dogs that had gotten out,” she said. “And there was no recourse for the city to hold that person accountable other than charging them with dogs running at-large. Which is a fine and nothing else can be done.”

Strowd also said many people aren’t aware of city ordinances until they’re in trouble with law or code enforcement.

“People do not. And I wish more people would become involved and come to city council meetings, because they could have their input as well,” she said. “Because city council will take their input into passing these ordinances or not.”

The Citizen’s Police Academy is currently full but will open for registration again next year.

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Aundrea Gibbons joined the News13 team in May 2023 after graduating from Clemson University with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and communication. Aundrea is a Marion native and graduated as salutatorian in 2019. Follow Aundrea on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here.