January 20, 2004 > Tri-City Citizens Learn Police Techniques
Tri-City Citizens Learn Police Techniques
Citizen Police Academy soon to start in Fremont and Newark
"Freeze and drop your weapon!" At times police officers need to utter these words to unknown adversaries. Could you do it? How about all the other specialties of police work? The experience of training and working as a police officer is foreign to most of us and, typically, will remain so throughout our lives. However, local law enforcement agencies have offered a program called Citizen Police Academy for local residents and employees to find out what goes on behind the scenes. These academies do not train citizens to become future law enforcement officers. They are designed to inform citizens about police policies, procedures, services and personnel.
Hands-on instruction and role playing are combined with lectures to cover topics ranging from trauma support to court procedures. Academy simulations and experiences include a wide range of diverse topics and activities such as domestic mediation exercises, SWAT procedures, forensics, "ride-along" and a trip to the firing range. All classes are provided in a safe environment, but allow students to experience the role and challenges of police in our community. The goals of the academy are knowledge, trust and unity. It is hoped that graduates can share their experiences with others in the community. The Fremont Academy, started in 1994, was designed to "provide a non confrontational forum for interaction between the community and police employees. It is hoped that this program can lift the so-called "blue curtain" which so often surrounds police work.
An announcement in the last issue of TCV offered Fremont citizens the opportunity to sign up for a Fremont Citizen Police Academy starting this month. Although the class beginning January 29th, has reached its capacity, Lt. Tom Mikkelsen, says that the department anticipates hosting a second class later this year. The Newark Police Department is currently developing the curriculum for an 11 week class, open to citizens, age 21 or above, who live or work in the City of Newark. It will begin in March and be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. TCV was unable to receive information from the Union City Police Department by press time.
For those interested in future Citizen Academy openings, it is best to contact the police department of your city. Lt. Mikkelsen of the Fremont Police Department suggests checking the police website: www.fremontpolice.org /academy/academy.html. or calling the department for more information. Holly Risner-Perez at the Newark Police Department invites calls regarding the next academy at (510) 794-2350 or checking www.newark.org/pd/pdcpa.html.
Fremont Police Department (510) 790-6800
Newark Police Department (510) 790-7234
Union City Police Department (510) 471-1365