Published: Mar 09, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Mar 08, 2013 12:52 PM
Come on, admit it ... you’re curious to know what it is like to be a police officer.
What kind of things do police officers look for when they are out on patrol? What concerns them the most – and why? What does it feel like to respond to a fight in progress or a break-in while the intruder is still inside the house?
What is training like? How do police officers help victims of violent crime and what kinds of resources are available in our community for those victims?
Do they really eat donuts?
Find out the answers to these questions, along with many more, when you enroll in the Chapel Hill Police Department’s next Citizens Police Academy!
The Police Department takes pride in delivering excellent services to our community. The Citizens Police Academy is designed to teach residents about the different services the Police Department has to offer, solicit feedback from the community on the work of the department, and correct misconceptions about the department.
Since 2010, we have offered the academy in the traditional lecture-style format that required participants to invest many hours to complete the program. Consequently, enrollment in the traditional style citizen academies has been limited since busy residents don’t always the time required to complete the course.
Recognizing that fact, the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Community Policing Advisory Committee completely redesigned the experience. In collaboration with students from the UNC School of Government’s Master of Public Administration program, we created a model that will allow residents to get an intense, informative, and most importantly, fun experience in about eight hours.
Our new Citizen’s Police Academy gives participants a chance to see how we train for and respond to calls for service in Chapel Hill. The academy is designed to increase understanding and awareness of the role of the Chapel Hill Police Department in our community and depict the true life of a police officer through “hands-on” activities and engaging discussions.
Participants will operate a simulator and see what it’s like to respond to a serious police call that turns violent. Attendees will sit in a squad car, watch the SERT and K9 teams in action, and talk to me about the tough issues. Along the way they’ll learn about the department’s work, how to make Chapel Hill a safer community, and much more.
Some of the activities participants will experience include:
• Exercises simulating real police scenarios
• Police officer equipment demonstrations
• Arrest procedures
• Use of Force discussions
• Social/Mental Health Issues in law enforcement
• Citizen Complaints/Internal Affairs
• Police Canine (K9) Program demonstrations
• Special Emergency Response Capabilities Dispel
• Use of the 911 system for reporting crime and suspicious activity
Upon completion of the experience, I hope participants will leave with an enhanced trust in the Chapel Hill Police Department and the capabilities of our employees. I think they will have a different perspective on the true nature of police work.
So, sign-up and join the Citizens Police Academy. Don’t miss this chance to find out more about why we call ourselves the Guardians of the Hill.Chris Blue is Chapel Hill’s police chief.
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