The 2012 Citizens Police Academy 2012 class eight was a great success!
Since 2004, the Salt River Police Department's Citizen Police Academy (CPA) has provided Members of the Salt River Community with an inside look at law enforcement. The CPA was designed to provide participants with an understanding of the operations and resources of the Salt River Police Department’s multiple divisions. This year was no different and many topics were covered openly and thoroughly throughout the eight week class.
The 18 Citizens Police Academy Graduates had the opportunity to interact with Police Officer veteran’s during the academy to include mock traffic stops that illustrated to the class some of the officer safety concerns first hand, investigation techniques relating to evidence collecting at a crime scene, evidence impounding procedures and protocol, canine officer demonstration showing the purpose and function of the Salt River canine and straight classroom time covering topics relating to the SORNA Program, School Resource Officers, the Intelligent Unit and the Ranger Unit. A tour of both Saddleback Communications and the Salt River Department of Corrections was conducted along with class time covering the functions of the facilities.
The objective of the Citizen Police Academy was not to train an individual to be a “Reserve Police Officer” but to “inform citizens” as to the many protocols that have to be recognized when conducting any investigation and for the Officers to understand the concerns of its Citizens.
Citizens and Police Officers met each other face to face in a neutral, friendly setting and each became a person to the other. Many citizens had questions regards illegal immigration, jurisdiction of state federal and tribal incidents.
Moreover, 4th Amendment Rights, 2nd Amendment Rights and many other similar questions were discussed amongst the participants.
At the conclusion of the Citizen Police Academy, both Police Officers and Citizens had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into each other’s viewpoints regards responsibilities to the Community. In turn, Citizens grained knowledge as to the multiple programs and resources available to Community member, the functions of several specialty units and how the duties of both the Police Officer and the Citizen overlap. This knowledge has created an expansion of community based efforts and opened the lines of communication between the Community and the Salt River Police Department. Generally, the relationship between the police and the citizen was one of “love/hate”; however, I do believe the class has helped us learn that our goals for a safe community are same. As a result of our successful class, I look forward to participating in class #9.