To the Editor:
I enjoyed reading about the Junior Police Academy in last week’s Press, especially since I am a recent graduate of the CPA – the Citizen Police Academy. This is a great way for kids to get exposure to all the activities that entail the life of a police officer, and to get to know the people in the uniform. Being introduced to the officers and learning about the high-tech, complicated and sometimes dangerous job that they do I believe builds an appreciation for the local force and a realization that they really are there to protect the community. (This is an attitude that I did not have while I was growing up in town in the ’60s.) With the opioid crisis ravaging the country it’s vitally important to have someone the kids get to know and trust level with them about the dangers of drugs, and the tough love attitude of resource officer Luis is exactly what’s needed. Many of the kids retake the course each summer, which shows that the officers have put together a program that is intriguing and resonates with the young participants.
The Citizen Police Academy course runs one night per week for eight weeks. We covered the same items that the kids do, but with more in-depth focus. Thanks to Lt. Shawn Platt, Capt. Jeff Kreitz, P.O. Shawn Murray with K-9 Loki, resource officer Fernando Luis, Dets. Papstein and Dardis, as well as guest visits from a Superior Court judge and a state’s attorney made the class educational, riveting, and inspired a new appreciation for our guys in blue. The course is run several times a year, if you can fit it in your schedule I highly recommend that you take it — you won’t be disappointed.