Police academy for civilians begins March 20

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
Feb. 21, 2008

GUILFORD — Residents interested in the inner workings of the Police Department can attend a citizen police academy starting March 20.

The program is open to anyone over the age of 16 who lives in Guilford, and is free of charge, Lt. Jeffrey Hocking said. The department has held the classes annually for about 15 years.

“The goal is just to offer a little more of an insight for citizens as far as what the department’s about, what we really do,” Hocking said. “We’re seen in the light of we’re stopping cars and who gets pulled over, and I think a lot of people really don’t understand that it’s a lot more complex than that.”

The academy will include nine two-hour classes that cover topics such as criminal justice, patrol policing, motor vehicle law and crime scene processing. Last year, Hocking said, the participants went through the same training about situations involving gun use that officers do to learn about making life-or-death decisions.

“It’s a real eye-opener for people,” he said. “They’re put in police situations and they have to make split-second shoot/don’t shoot decisions.”

At the end of the course, each student goes on a four-hour ride-along with a police officer.

Hocking said there are 30 places in the course, and a few people have applied so far. Residents can obtain the applications at the Guilford Police Department or online at www.guilfordct.com/police.

The program runs from March 20 to May 22, with one week off in April.

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