S.P. Citizen's Police Academy Set to Begin May 6
By Tom Embrey
Interested in getting a firsthand look at the operations of the Southern Pines Police Department? Then the annual Citizen's Police Academy may be just what you are searching for.
This is the 11th year for the Citizen's Police Academy. It will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays from May 6 to June 17. The program is an opportunity for residents to meet officers, telecommunication workers and support staff who work to protect the town. Classes will be held at the police department, 801 SE Service Road.
Bob Temme, community services coordinator for the Southern Pines Police Department said the classes "are invaluable," He said the program helps "break down barriers" between residents and law enforcement personnel.
The intent of the academy is twofold. First, it gives participants a "behind-the-scenes" look at how the department operates. Second, it helps build a bond between the community and the department.
The program doesn't train residents to be police officers, but it gives the community an opportunity to see what police work is all about. Highlights of the program include demonstrations by the K9 unit and special response teams, as well as crime scene investigation (CSI). Throughout the program, students will process a mock crime scene and present their case to an independent panel for review and the issuance of a simulated arrest warrant.
Temme said the CSI component to the program is new this season.
"Each night, you process a new area of the crime scene," he said. "Eventually you will present the evidence you have and see if you have enough for a warrant."
Class participants will be given the chance to ride with an officer on patrol. Throughout the program, residents will be allowed and encouraged to ask questions, voice concerns and learn more about the law enforcement profession.
To attend, participants must meet the following requirements:
n Be at least 16 years old
n Be a resident of Southern Pines or a Southern Pines business owner
n Have no felony convictions
n Have no misdemeanor convictions within one year of application
n Have no pending criminal charges
The above requirements may be waived or modified upon review and approval of the chief of police. A criminal background check will be completed on each applicant prior to acceptance into the program.
Applications are available at the Southern Pines Police Department or online at www.southernpines.net. Applications are to be returned to the Police Department or mailed to P.O. Box 330, Southern Pines, NC 28388. Enrollment is limited to 20.
For more information, call Temme at (910) 692-7031.
Contact Tom Embrey by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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