Thursday, April 26, 2018

Estes Park Citizen's Police Academy

Every other year, the Estes Park Police Department puts on a Citizen's Police Academy. They announce it in the newspaper and online on the PD website.

The website is here.

Established in 1997, this academy is open for the public (over the age of 18). This academy allows the public to learn more about the workings of the police department.

The 2018 Academy was well attended with 19 students. It was 5 weeks, 2 nights per week (Monday and Thursday) from 6PM -9PM.

The topics covered varied each night and there was a syllabus containing the classes to be taught.

Opening night was introductions by Captain Pass and Chief Kufeld, followed by a tour of the Police Department and Dispatch with Auxiliary Sgt Sue Pinkham and Officer Jonoska. 

The second night was Criminal Justice Intro with Sgt Life, Criminal Law (which is a hard subject to listen to because - well it's a tad boring) Sgt Polucha tried to make it interesting for us. Then there was the discussion about Restorative Justice - this is a really cool system that does the 6 R's of the community: respect, repair, responsibility, reconciliation, reintegration and relationship. It's conflict resolution at it's best. The website is here

The third night was a short intro to Criminal Justice records. Then the computer aided dispatch. This was informative on how the EMS/911 system works in Estes Park. Being the first line of communication with the PD - it was an informational on the inner workings. Then there was Community Oriented Policing which is a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and the communities they serve.

The fourth night was the start of some very interactive classes. This night included use of deadly Force, Firearms and safety and Defensive Tactics. I think everyone loved seeing the different weapons and how the officers defend themselves when arresting a suspect.

Night five was drug identification - learning about the most common and not so common street drugs. A talk with the School Resource Officer about what he does while working at the school district. The final class of the night was Frauds and scams - talking about the latest things that people are trying to do to steal your money/identity.

Night six was Officer Safety and then everyone's favorite class - the hands on Building Search Practical.  We were given the chance to use (fake) guns and do a room entry as if searching for suspects in a building.

Night seven held a talk about the Estes Park Emergency Response Team (our SWAT). Then Crime Scene Investigation (another favorite where learning how the go through a crime scene). Final of the evening was Handling Evidence and Property Room.

Night eight was Traffic Enforcement, DUI Enforcement and Motor Vehicle Accident Investigation. With this one, the class went outside and did a traffic stop where we were looking for all the things wrong on the stopped car (expired tags, cracked windshield, the gun and knife in the car).

Class nine was a talk with the Judge about Courtroom Testimony. The Victims Advocates and closing with Emergency Management.

Class Ten told the class about the Estes Park Police Auxiliary (which I am a member since 2017). This is the volunteer police unit. Information can be found here! And then receipt of completion and celebration.

I could take pages and pages to go over this great program, but I will leave it that it is well worth attending.

Successfully completing the course gets your a certificate and a T-shirt.

This is the 2018 Class photo as posted in the local newspaper:

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