The University Police Department (UPD) is holding their sixth Annual Citizen Police Academy for students, faculty and people around the community that are interested in law enforcement.This seven week program starts on February 27 through April 24 meeting on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at UPD. It involves guest speakers, discussions, and hands on activities.
Some of the activities will include pulling fingerprints from soda cans, packaging narcotics, and the Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) section where students get to wear drunk goggles and participate in Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s).
UPD received twice as many applications this semester than they had before, however they are only going to be accepting 16 applicants. Even though UPD sees the growth in the Academy, they hope to keep it small to encourage more participation and to allow the officers to spend more one on one time with the students.
“The citizen academy is all about getting to know our students and forming relationships. Smaller class sizes enhance the experience.” says UPD Interim Chief Clint Strode.
This opportunity not only allows for students to learn more about law enforcement, but also learn the reasonings behind laws and policies.
“So many things about what police do and who we are is twisted in the media. When the students go through small scenarios or hear stories, the looks on their faces are priceless. The understanding that comes afterward is immeasurable,” said UPD Sergeant Cheri Silveira.
Stan State alumna, Madyson Falconi (Criminal Justice) said that the program was really informative and rather fun as well. Even though she had participated in the academy the first time it was held, she believed that it was a great experience and it gave her a lot of helpful information.She enjoyed interacting with the officers.
She said, “I took away a lot of officer safety tips, and better preparation for what my future holds.”
Not only did this grab the student’s attention, but to Stan State faculty members as well.
Interim Chief Strode says, “Stan State faculty member Mark Perry (Criminal Justice), attended the Citizen Academy in Spring 2018 and commented that the citizen academy had increased career interests with law enforcement among several of our students.”
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