Friday, November 16, 2012

Shawnee Citizen's Police Academy

On Wednesday night I felt honored to be one of 23 individuals who have completed the current Shawnee Citizen's Police Academy.

The academy was started again last year after being put on hiatus for many years.

 Before proceeding, allow me to make it clear that it does not qualify anybody to be a law enforcement official.

What it does do though is it makes the average citizen more aware of what the police department does. It also gives a microscopic view of what an individual has to go through to become an officer in Shawnee.

We learned that many officers wear multiple hats and are responsible for a variety of functions.  We also learned how officers are rotated through the various elements of the department to make them more efficient and better equipped to handle a variety of situations.

Watching the K9 officers put their four legged partners through their paces was very interesting.  And it was nice to know that they, along with our traffic accident investigations personnel have been called upon by neighboring cities to assist them where needed. That is indicative of the skill and training these individuals have.

Getting to drive a short course, with lights flashing was fun, and probably fulfilled a few dreams. 
Learning how various officers are always working to help to prevent crime and the various tools available to them for this purpose can be an eye opener for many.  And what type of class like this would be complete without some range time?

A ride along with an officer was also part of the course.  Allow me to say, that those interested can apply for a ride along without going through the academy.  The ride alongs themselves can be very enlightening, as compared to what is seen on TV.  I personally have been on ride alongs prior to the academy and have commented on them here on this blog.  The attitude and professionalism of the officers on patrol is extremely positive.

One of the interesting aspects of the class was the make up of the attendees.  Male, female, young, old, and a broad spectrum of job backgrounds. 

Going forward, the PD will be seeking volunteers from this group to assist in various areas, so as to allow officers and professional staff more time for their primary functions.  A small price, IMHO, to pay for what they give to the community.

Check the city's website for next year's class. I'm guessing that info for the 2013 class will probably be posted sometime in the late spring/early summer of 2013.