The city of Hopkinsville is taking a new approach to engage citizens in the everyday workings of the local government.

Friday, the city announced the inaugural City of Hopkinsville Diplomat Program.

According to a press release, the program is a type of "citizen's academy" that will give citizens an opportunity to understand how the municipal government works for them. The program also will allow citizens to support the community through service, promotions and volunteer programs.

"I appreciate the hard work of our Clerk's office developing this new opportunity as we continue to operate a transparent and accessible 21st century government," Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks said in the news release.

The program will be hosted the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m., Oct. 2-March 4, 2020.

During the first month, diplomats will learn about the history of Hopkinsville. Diplomats also will begin to learn about the different branches of local government and get to meet local elected officials.

They also will be given tours of the local municipal building as well as the Planters Bank-Jennie Stuart Sportsplex while learning about the Public Works Department.

In November, diplomats will tour the main fire station of Hopkinsville Fire Department and learn about the challenging work local firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics face each day. They also will get to try on the gear first responders wear to the scene.

December will include a public service project that will be determined by the group of diplomats.

February will bring the diplomats directly into the local government to see what it takes to keep the city running every day. They will learn from the city administrator, city clerk, human resources and information technology departments.

The graduation will be held in March.

"You will gain an understanding of the services they provide and the struggles they face trying to ensure the City operates smoothly," the brochure for the program stated.

Applications for the program are available downtown at 715 S. Virginia Street. Applications also may be submitted by email to cfletcher@hopkinsvilleky.us.

"We are excited about offering citizens this unique opportunity to learn about the City of Hopkinsville and how local government works," Hendricks said. "We hope this will provide citizens with an even better understanding of how to get things done in our community."

The deadline to apply for the program is 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com.

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