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  1. #1
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Citizens' Police Academy 2



    Since isthatlegal?, Jackalope, CopsRCool302, and I are currently attending a Citizens' Police Academy (CPA), we decided (actually, it was isthatlegal?'s idea and a brilliant one at that) to start a thread. Each week we will share our experiences. We hope this will encourage those who have never taken a CPA class to do so or, at least, give it consideration. The Citizens' Police Academy is designed to give people the opportunity to learn what police work is like in their community. The classes cover everything from community-oriented policing to special weapons and tactics. In fact, most of the classes are designed to be hands on experience and a rewarding one at that. Finally, if there is anyone else currently involved in a CPA class, feel free to join us for the ride.

    isthatlegal?
    Jackalope
    CopsRCool302
    Crimebytes2

  2. #2
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Iíll go first. The academy CopsRCool302 and I currently attend runs for 12 weeks and meets Thursday night from 7:00p - 9:30p at the Southwest Iowa Law Enforcement Training Facility. Our first class was held last night (it was pushed back a week due to the blizzard of 2007). After everyone introduced themselves, Chief Keith Mehlin opened the class with a short introductory regarding the history of law enforcement. What an eye-opener that was. I think everyone would agree with me when I say that law enforcement has certainly come a long way since the late 1800ís. I was surprised to learn how light weight the bullet proof vest is (your belt weighs more). That and itís only good for five years. When you consider the cost, five years doesnít seem like a very long time. We also discussed the procedures involved in becoming a police officerÖ not an easy task. It was interesting and exciting at the same time and before we knew it, class was over. While upcoming classes include watching an officer get tased (I donít feel good about this) and firing the Glock 40, next week itís all about Vice/Narcotics.

  3. #3
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    neat post and i like hearing all the things you are noticing
    http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl

    We dallied under
    Vine maples and sapling alders
    Searched for lady slippers
    But instead
    Found blackberry riots and
    Desiccated branches

    An old skid road
    Brought ghost ferns and
    Hollows filled with
    Skunk cabbage
    While waves wrapped
    Intricate lacings of weeds
    'Round mule spinners

    His cyanotic eyes
    Were hard enough to make
    The sun turn tail and
    Tender enough to attract me
    To his world of illusion

  4. #4
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    Thank you for your posts, Crimebytes2, I appreciate your help. Like you said, I hope this encourages someone to participate in the academy.
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  5. #5
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    My first class was this past Tuesday. I thought I was already very familiar with the agency, and that's why I'd never considered the Citizen's Academy. The only reason I signed up for it is because the volunteer coordinator told me she wanted me to take the course in order to become a civilian volunteer with the agency.

    The first segment was led by the Sheriff and the Undersheriff. They gave a brief overview of the Sheriff's Office, as well as a history of the Citizen's Academy. The Sheriff said that the only volunteer opportunities used to be Posse Member (requiring you to bring your own horse, tack, and trailer), a Reserve Deputy (obviously not for everyone), or a Search and Rescue volunteer (only open to people under 21). If you couldn't do any of those things, there were no volunteer opportunities. So the Sheriff decided that if people want to volunteer their time, they will find something for the people to do. And they created the Citizen Academy, in part, to give people an idea of what they were interested and capable of doing for the SO. It's also used to give new employees an overview of what the SO does and how it does it. One of the people in the class is the new IT guy for the SO.

    Next, we got a tour of the SO. I'd seen most of it before, but I got to get a better look at dispatch. I hadn't realized that the SO dispatched for fire, or that the fire trucks and patrol cars were tracked by GPS.

    The next segment was from the Captain of the Civil Division. I had had a general understanding of the Civil duties of a Sheriff's Office, but the Captain went into more detail about just how much work there is for the Civil Division, and how they get it done.

    The last segment was from the Community Service Specialists (AKA volunteer coordinators). They talked about the different ways that they reach out to the community, and some of the ways that organizations like Neighborhood Watch and SALT have helped the SO in their mission.

    Next week is going to be mainly an overview of the Support Division- Communications, Training, Purchasing/Fleet, Property/Evidence, and Emergency Management.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  6. #6
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    My daughter and I went to our first CPA class.

    The topic was narcotics. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about drugs so I didn't think there would be too much information that would be new to me. Boy, was I wrong. I just sat there amazed as I was hearing what dopers will use to take drugs and what they will do to get drugs. They are incredibly paranoid people. They always think the police are following them or that the police are right outside their windows watching them. We learned about the different drug paraphernalia, which again, I thought I knew about. Anything goes when it comes to that. And they will hide their drugs in anything they can get their hands on.

    The presenter was a detective who is also an undercover officer and will often make drug buys. That part worried me because I always think they're in so much danger how can they possibly do this line of work. But they are also very good at what they do and take every precaution to make sure they're safe.

    It was great to be with other people who are interested in LE and eager to learn. At the beginning of class, we were asked what questions we would like to have answered and then were given the opportunity to ask more at the end of class.

    I have to say I was also very impressed by their hospitality, warmth and friendliness. It was very apparent that they wanted us to feel welcome and they were eager to help us in any way.

    I can't wait for next week. My daughter was so impressed that she told me she wants to go again. I told her we will next week and she said she meant that she would like to participate in other academies in the future. Aside from the sad stories of the children, my daughter enjoyed the class throughly too.
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  7. #7
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    It's been an interesting week, Law Enforcement-wise. We had a chance to meet a local K-9 unit, witness an officer take a hit from a stun gun, found out that a belt in a squad car is not meant to go around a criminal's head or neck. (Who knew?)

    The most fun part for me was meeting the K-9. We had a chance to pet it but we were told to keep our hands away from the dog's mouth and toy. I love K-9's. That is the first one I have ever had a chance to meet and pet. It's slightly smaller than I expected and certainly more playful. They really are neat.

    We had a chance to look inside a squad car and even the opportunity to sit in it, which I declined. I saw a belt hanging from the headrest on the front passenger side with hand cuffs hanging from it. I asked the officer what the belt was for, "Was it for restraining the head?" He laughed and said it was for the waist.


    Note: This was not part of this weeks' current CPA class just some of the events that occurred in our area this past week.
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  8. #8
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    The second class we attended had a more serious side to it. It was on CSI and the presenters included some stories of past and recent crimes that people in our area were familiar with. There was one story that was incredibly sad involving a child. I can't imagine walking through a crime scene as horrific as that one.

    On a lighter note, we did get to do some fingerprinting. I had a hard time getting one that you could see. It's not as easy as TV makes it look. We also saw how a cast is made of a footprint. It's one thing to see these things on TV and quite another to actually see a demonstration.

    Despite some of the serious sides to the class at times, we are having fun. Before class starts and during some of the breaks we get to talk a bit with each other. There are great people in the class and you can see they have respect for LE. During the breaks we sample some of the snacks the citizens bring in. By the time the academy is finished, we'll all have gained five pounds.
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  9. #9
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    I keep forgetting to write about my classes, and every time I remember, like now, I don't have time. I'll catch up one of these days.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  10. #10
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackalope View Post
    I keep forgetting to write about my classes, and every time I remember, like now, I don't have time. I'll catch up one of these days.
    You better! Don't make us ladies come looking for you. Oops! What am I saying? I didn't write about last weeks class. I've got some catching up to do, too! Will post soon.

  11. #11
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    For those of you who read this thread, my apologies for not keeping you up to date on what's been going on. I have no excuse other than I've just been unusually busy lately. Gee, coming from me that's nothing unusual. Right, cwtlady4LE? Anyway, since I didn't post anything about last weeks class, I will include it in this weeks post.

    Last weeks class was all about Vice/Narcotics. Apparently, Council Bluffs doesn't have much of a prostitution problem, which is probably a good thing, huh? About the only time they will investigate is when a complaint is called in or they encounter a situation while investigating other things (specifically drug investigations). So it will come as no surprise when I tell you that most of the evening was spent discussing drugs. Since my major is Human Services, Addictive Studies (drugs/alcohol), much of the information was not new to me. And the #1 drug of choice is... drum roll please... METH!

    Now I understand why it's so popular: it's relatively cheap, the effects are similar to cocaine but last longer (4 to 16 hours), and it's easy to produce. Of course there's more to it than that but you get the point. Guys, I have a confession. For one split second I thought to myself, if I sold meth I would never have money problems again (depending on purity a kilo can cost $25,000.00). Like I said, "For one split second!" Something I didn't now is people will use anything to smoke drugs (example: toilet paper roll) and did you you know that once your trash is out for pick-up, it's no longer your property? Well, at least in Iowa it isn't. After class we toured the Southwest Iowa Law Enforcement Training Facility - 22 different agencies utilize this facility including the FBI and ATF. I was really impressed with the firing range (I can't wait for week #10 (live firearms class). Did anyone say stress relief? By the way, we were told that the women WILL out-shoot the men. Overall, it was truly an interesting evening. I hated that it had to end.

    Now for this weeks class: Crisis Negotiations. In the early 70's police throughout the nation realized the need to train for the inevitability of high risk, non-typical events such as hostage takings or barricaded individuals intent on committing suicide. CBPD established a crisis negotiations team during the early '80's. Until then you either did what the police told you to do or you most likely ended up dead. Not a good thing. Anyway, ours is modeled after NYPD's unit whose motto is "Negotiate as quickly as you can and for as long as it takes." We watched an A&E video entitled, "Talk to Me" which focused on the NYPD HNT.

    I learned that a negotiator's most important ally in all situations is time. You should not rush anything unless the loss of life appears imminent. BTW, much like a counselor, successful negotiations require good active and reflective listening skills. Later we had to choose a word (unknown to us) and talk about it for three minutes. Why? Because negotiation is all about talking. My word was love and it was the longest three minutes of my life. CRC's word was pal and that's all I'm gonna say. The guest speaker (a Lt. who overseas the unit) was really nice and had a great sense of humor... he made it fun. He only has 42 Mondays before retirement. All in all it was a great evening. Again, I hated that it had to end. Just out of curiosity, do we have any LEF LEO's who are assigned to an HNT?

    OK. That's it, guys! Next week it's Criminal Laws and Laws of Arrest. The guest speaker will be our very own Assistant City Attorney. It ought to be interesting.
    Last edited by Crimebytes2; 03-24-07 at 03:44 PM.

  12. #12
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    Okay, here's my updates.

    Two weeks ago, on March 13th, was my second class. It wasn't as good as the first class. The first presenter was the SO Chaplain. He started volunteering with the SO, and has since been recruited to work with a city PD and two fire districts. His main job is to act as a liason between the deputies and victims/witnesses involved in major cases. He can update families on how an investigation is going so that the deputies can continue focusing on doing the investigation.

    The next presenter was the Support Services Captain. His presentation focused mainly on dispatch and 911. It's fascinating the kind of technology they're using to make sure that people get the help they need as soon as possible. For instance, whenever a call comes into dispatch, an icon pops up on their map displaying exactly where the call is coming from. It even works for cell phones (accurate to within 500 feet). The calltaker codes it as either a fire or LE call, and then dispatches the appropriate units. Since they can see where each unit is on the map, they can route the closest unit. It's all very efficient.

    The next presentation was from one of the Training/Recruiting deputies. He talked about the hiring process, which I was already familiar with.

    The next presentation was Evidence/Property. The Evidence Tech giving the presentation was not particularly good at public speaking, and I've worked with an evidence tech at another agency, so there wasn't much new for me.

    The last presentation was Emergency Management. I was practically asleep by this point. I see the value of emergency management, but I'm more interested in dealing with actual problems, and not preparing for the doomsday scenario.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  13. #13
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    My third class was on March 20th. It was a great class, with each presentation being done by detectives.

    The introduction was an overview of the Detective Division by the Detective Captain.

    The next presentation was by the Sex Crimes detectives. It's pretty disgusting work, and I don't think I'd like to do it. But they do a great job.

    The next presentation was by a guy I went to college with. He's the e-crimes detective. He does a lot of presentations to high school classes about internet safety, and this presentation was similar to that. It's really easy for people, especially kids, to put themselves in danger online. And there's no shortage of perverts out there. He mentioned the fact that at a training class he took, he used a screen name suggesting he was a 14 year old girl to log into a chatroom. Within five seconds, before he typed anything, he had a 30-something year old guy sending him a webcam image of the guy masturbating.

    This week is going to be more from the Detective Division, including Person/Major crimes, Property Crimes, and Narcotics.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  14. #14
    tapout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady4LE View Post

    On a lighter note, we did get to do some fingerprinting. I had a hard time getting one that you could see. It's not as easy as TV makes it look.
    youre probably better at it then me...if crime lab is restricted, or the crime is not "serious" enough for them to respond to, we do our own prints. i usually get nothing but a face covered in print dust for the rest of the day...its so ridiculous. and noone ever tells you its there, they just let you go from call to call with black dust all over your nose and forehead...jerks
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


    the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink

  15. #15
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimebytes2 View Post
    For those of you who read this thread, my apologies for not keeping you up to date on what's been going on. I have no excuse other than I've just been unusually busy lately. Gee, coming from me that's nothing unusual. Right, cwtlady4LE?
    Right.

    After class we toured the Southwest Iowa Law Enforcement Training Facility - 22 different agencies utilize this facility including the FBI and ATF. I was really impressed with the firing range (I can't wait for week #10 (live firearms class). Did anyone say stress relief? By the way, we were told that the women WILL out-shoot the men.
    Hmmm, that gives me a whole new perspective. Stress relief?
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  16. #16
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapout View Post
    i usually get nothing but a face covered in print dust for the rest of the day...its so ridiculous. and noone ever tells you its there, they just let you go from call to call with black dust all over your nose and forehead...jerks
    I heard that too. You have to admit..it's funny though.
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  17. #17
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapout View Post
    i usually get nothing but a face covered in print dust for the rest of the day...its so ridiculous. and noone ever tells you its there, they just let you go from call to call with black dust all over your nose and forehead...jerks
    The stories you guys could tell.

  18. #18
    cwtlady's Avatar
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    This week's class dealt mainly with child sexual assaults and child abuse. The presenters that we listened to handle the younger child assault and abuse cases for the department. They work on only cases within the city but sometimes will go out of the city to interview victims and criminals.

    The presenters both agreed that they would rather handle a burglary any day than have to deal with a child abuse/assault case. They can understand a burglar but can't understand why anyone would want to harm a child.

    One of the most important things they wanted us to remember is that these horrible acts do happen to children. Some of us don't want to believe that humans could be so capable of committing such horrible acts but they do. It's important to remember this if we ever sit on a jury.

    They told us of a story about a class they attended on internet crimes. (I may not have all the facts straight but it is a true story)
    The instructor was on the internet during class talking to a pervert while pretending to be a 13 year old. Within five minutes someone responded and arranged for a meeting. So the instructor asked the class if they wanted to follow through with the meeting. They were thinking no one would show up. So the class of about 35 officers showed up at a restaurant and waited for the guy. They already had a description of him and his vehicle.

    A man walks in fitting the description and sits down. The instructor walks over and asks him his name and the guy says "no, that's not me." The instructor tells him who he is and that he's the "13 year old" that he's been talking to and shows the guy his badge and then so do all the other 35 or so officers that were waiting there. They said the color just drained from the guy's face. It must have been priceless.
    http://www.odmp.org/officer/16551-de...l-eron-shannon

    Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.

  19. #19
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    I think the color must've left his face and drained straight down his pants leg.
    \\
    ` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
    `` ` ` ` (3--(____)
    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtN1YnoL46Q


  20. #20
    Crimebytes2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtlady4LE View Post
    The presenters both agreed that they would rather handle a burglary any day than have to deal with a child abuse/assault case. They can understand a burglar but can't understand why anyone would want to harm a child.
    Last week's speaker (Crisis Negotiations) actually told us the opposite. He doesn't care about who stole your TV. What matters most are those children. Please don't misunderstand. I don't think any less of those officers. I'm just trying to show the difference in how officers think and feel about things (if this makes any sense).

 

 
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