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Lawrence cops getting trained in community relations, customer service

LAWRENCE — Coming soon to your neighborhood: kinder, gentler cops.

Thirty city police officers on Wednesday began 3 1/2 days of training with a security firm owned by former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis teaching how to de-escalate conflicts and to improve their customer service, sensitivity to other cultures and community relations.

All 133 of the city’s sworn officers, including Chief James Fitzpatrick, will take the training sessions in stages by the end of September, including the seven men who will join the force after graduating from the police academy on Friday. All seven, dressed in academy uniforms, stood behind Fitzpatrick, Davis and Rivera when the training was announced at a press conference Wednesday at Northern Essex Community College after the first day of classes concluded upstairs.

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