2017 Citizens Police Academy a Great Success

2017 Citizens Police Academy a Great Success
Posted on 06/01/2017

Twenty-five devoted residents got a first-hand look at law enforcement during a Citizens Academy, held by the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. It was the second year of the program, and the CHPD looks forward to holding another academy next year.

Classes were held on Wednesday evenings during an eight-week program in March and April, consisting of interactive classes at City Hall and at various field locations. 

Students were exposed to various aspects of law enforcement. Participants were able to experience “use of force” situations inside 340-degree simulator, live SWAT demonstrations, and a K-9 demo, including a “bite suit.” 

The academy also included an overview of patrol, a jail tour, a 9-1-1 dispatch center tour, youth programs overview, traffic law enforcement classes, a recruiting/training program, community awareness training and victim advocacy discussions, including domestic violence awareness and an understanding of special victims (elderly and at-risk adults).

Graduates were also encouraged to join CH Get Ready (emergency preparedness volunteers) and the CHPD Neighborhood Watch program. 

More importantly, the program offered an opportunity for continued law enforcement education, while allowing participants to have an interactive association with the police department as volunteers.

“It allows the community to engage with the police department and have an open dialogue,” said Assistant Chief Paul Brenneman.

Academy graduates expressed gratitude for the program and recommended it to anyone who qualifies (an application and background check were required to join).

A graduation ceremony and dinner were held on April 26 at City Hall. Mayor Cullimore, Chief Robby Russo and Assistant Chief Brenneman were there to hand out certificates and share a few thoughts on the importance of citizen involvement in law enforcement and public safety. Officer Jeff Potter, one of the course instructors also spoke about the importance of community involvement and understanding police work.

The courses were taught by Officer Potter, Officer Sara Widman and Sgt. Chris McHugh.