2020 Cultural Leadership Academy Graduation

Date of release:  September 25, 2020

Location:  Murray State University, Paducah Campus 


CLA graduation photo 2020Pictured are (Bottom row, from left) Dr. Teresa Clark, Dr. Landon Clark; (Second row) Officer Codey Strong, Officer Eric Abbott; (Third row) Officer Jon Wentworth; (Fourth row) Det. Nathan Jaimet, Assistant Chief Anthony Copeland; (Top row) Officer Brandon Jones, Chief Brian Laird.

Please join us in congratulating five Paducah police officers who were graduated Thursday from the Cultural Leadership Academy. 

This is the fifth year for the academy, which includes eight blocks of classroom work, spread over two semesters, and some field assignments. 

Det. Nathan Jaimet, Officer Eric Abbott, Officer Brandon Jones, Officer Codey Strong and Officer Jon Wentworth were presented certificates of completion during ceremonies Thursday morning at Murray State University’s Paducah campus.  They bring to 31 the number of officers who have completed the CLA.

In 2016, the Paducah Police Department joined with Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services to create the Cultural Leadership Academy.  It provides officers with an advanced training opportunity, centered on diversity awareness.  It was started with grant assistance from the Police Foundation of Paducah-McCracken County Inc. and the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust.

“In light of recent events throughout the country, the Cultural leadership Academy is more relevant and vital to our officers than ever before,” said Chief of Police Brian Laird.  “It teaches about cultural diversity and broadens officers’ understanding of our community as a whole.”

Murray State University Drs. Teresa Clark and Landon Clark are coorganizers of the CLA, along with then-Assistant Chief Brian Krueger.  The Clarks still conduct the academy.

“Landon and I have really valued our partnership with the Paducah Police Department,” Teresa Clark said.  “Each year, the officers are very engaged and participate in discussions.  We have a lot of difficult discussions.”

Clark said she hopes that what is covered in the various modules helps the officers as they go about their daily duties.

“The Paducah Police Department was very proactive in reaching out several years ago and exploring a program that would focus on cultural leadership, and we’ve been so glad to be a part of that,” she said.  “It really shows the dedication of the police department to maintain positive relationships with the local community.” 

To learn more about the Cultural Leadership Academy and how your local law enforcement agencies can participate, contact Dr. Teresa Clark at 270/8096956.