ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Police Department has begun a new program aimed at fostering public relations and a better understanding of the systems that operate within the Law Enforcement Center. Interim Chief Wren led the program’s first participants, Joy and Steve Ellinger of the Abilene Police Foundation, on a tour of APD’s various divisions.

“I don’t think people really realize the depth of the layers of the things that happen at the police department,” Steve Ellinger said.

Steve and Joy Ellinger

The Ellingers were taken through the department, stopping along the way to see how each division operates, from dispatch and surveillance to investigations divisions like the Real Time Information Center (RTIC) and Child Advocacy Center (CAC).

“All the way from dispatch, you get to see the heartbeat of APD. It’s the heartbeat of our city, really. To the Child Advocacy Center, which is… I’m grateful we have it. It’s sad that we have to have it. But the people that are there are true professionals,” Joy Ellinger shared.

However, this was no ‘fly on the wall’ situation. The Ellingers were able to ask their own questions of each department, enabling them to better understand how the resources police use every day operate.

“The challenges they face and the successes that they’ve had. That I would never know unless I was Chief for the day,” Joy Ellinger shared.

APD officials shared that they plan to hold a ‘Chief for the Day’ tour on a quarterly basis. The participants of those tours will be chosen based on their community leadership and dedication to community safety, although the previous participants will be able to nominate someone they think might benefit from the program.