UTICA, N.Y.-- The Utica Police Department is becoming better equipped to understand and work with local refugees and immigrants.
The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees is providing cultural competency training for the entire police department, throughout the month.
The officers are learning about all of the services the center provides, as well as the history of resettlement in the Utica area.
Shelly Callahan, executive director of the center, said the goal is to provide officers with the knowledge and tools needed to interact and serve the diverse community in Utica.
"We're able to teach the police department what some of the perceptions and experiences are of people that didn't grow up here," Callahan said. "So that they might understand why people might be more fearful of a police officer, or have someone in uniform, or to understand all the different languages spoken here and the resources we have to help them in any situation."
The MVRCR plans to offer more training classes to other agencies in the future.
For more information visit: www.mvrcr.org.