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Community Academy

By Simon Wong

Learn about Hayward Police Department starting Feb 19

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Anyone interested in learning how Hayward Police Department (PD) operates should attend the free nine-week Community Academy starting on February 19 and ending on April 16, 2013. This is a must for members of Neighborhood Watch groups but a prerequisite for anyone considering becoming a block captain who is usually the liaison between neighbors and the Police Department. The Community Academy is open to Hayward and non-Hayward residents.

Ever wondered how many sworn officers are on duty at any one time? Why do the police not respond immediately to every incident reported? How can residents help the police do their jobs effectively? How can residents safeguard themselves and their property against crime? What advice does Hayward Police Department have for maximizing public safety?

Hayward PD’s Community Academy is designed to educate and inform the general public about the City’s law enforcement policies and practices. The program was founded more than 15 years ago and, ideally, would be offered twice a year. Currently, it is available only annually because of limited resources; moreover, gathering all the presenters and speakers is a logistical challenge, so this is a golden opportunity to register.

“When I attend Neighborhood Watch meetings, some community members complain bitterly. They think the Police Department must be there for them, automatically, on their street, watching their house, around the clock, seven days-a-week,” said Gale Bleth, Crime Prevention Specialist, Hayward PD. “There is a much bigger picture which the Community Academy pieces together so that people understand how the Police Department functions.”

The Community Academy starts with the Police Department’s structure. The City has nine beats with a certain number of patrol officers on each. Given that Hayward PD has 191 sworn officers, which includes Chief Diane Urban, captains, lieutenants, investigation staff and drug and narcotics units that do not patrol the streets, it is surprising to learn how many officers are on patrol at any one time. Does that include the K9 officers, Special Duty Unit and Traffic teams and school resource officers? Do they attend calls?

Community members will learn the importance of working with each other to protect their neighborhoods and of informing the police department of issues that need to be addressed, given that police officers cannot be present at all times. Certificates of completion or participation will be awarded, according to attendance.

Some of the subjects to be covered include COPPS Philosophy & Hayward Neighborhood Alert, Home Burglary Prevention & Personal Safety, Police Patrol Structure/Ethics, City of Hayward Panel, Youth & Family Services Bureau, Narcotics & Gangs, Red Light Cameras, SMASH, SWAT, K9 and 911.

Weekly sessions are scheduled for Tuesdays at City Hall, 777 B Street, Hayward, from 6:45 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.

For more information and to register for Hayward PD’s Community Academy, call (510) 293-7151 or email

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