I was taking a class with the Sioux City Police Dept. It is called Citizens Academy.
It is a condensed training and learning course for any regular citizen that wants to volunteer to take it. It does not cost anything to take the class. The requirments for it are you have ot be a Sioux City area resident and you can not have any kind of felony conviction, or serious misdomeanor on your record or any warrants out for your arrest.
The class is a total of 12 weeks long, for 4 hours every Thursday night, the first week is orientation and the last is graduation. The class I was in is number 15 and this is the 9th year of the program. There are only 24 people allowed to take the class each session. There are 2 sessions a year, spring and fall. The class is not pass or fail. It is designed to teach regular citizens what the police dept. does and how they work, at least here in Sioux City. During the 12 weeks of the class you are encouraged but not required to do a ride-a-long with a police officer and sit in the communications center and listen to the calls that come in. My ride-a-long is tonight. Can't wait.
Last night was our last class, next thursday is graduation. Let me tell you it has been an interesting 10 weeks. I have a whole other perspective on what the SCPD does. These men and women have a very tough job. I have always had a respect for the law, now that respect is even greater and stronger then ever before. the class has been fun and very educational. There has been a lot of laughing and some crying even.
Here is a basic course outline on what we learned:
(Any questions please ask)
Organizational chart and values
Volunteers In Policing program, V.I.P. (I am involved in this program with the SCPD.)
Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, S.T.E.P.
Alcohol Safety Action Program, A.S.A.P
Legalities of arrest
Use of force, defensive tactics, chemical weapons
Community Action Support Team, C.A.S.T., during ht espring the C.A.S.T. officers are on bikes patrolling their districts.
Crime prevention, prevention programs, crime stoppers and Drug Abuse Resistance Education, D.A.R.E.
Youth bureau, yout crime.
General investigations, property crimes.
Special Investigations Unit, S.I.U.
Criminalistics, fingerprinting & AFIS, evidence collecting.
Special Emergency Reponse Team, S.E.R.T., same thing as S.W.A.T. just a differant name.
(hands on and class room)
K-9, building searches, traffic stops
General investigations, sexual abuse, child abuse, homicide.
Criminalistics, crime scene investigations, case profiling
All of the hands on was done at the regional training center. Part of the class room was done there and part was done at the Police and Fire Headquarters building.
This pretty much covers the entire SCPD. Like I said it was a condensed trainign and learning class. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from it. The things that bothered me the most was seeing the pictures of the abused children. A few class members broke down in tears because of it. They were very disturbing to see. More so then the homicide pictures.
One thing some of you may be wondering about that is not directly mentioned above is our Vice Unit. Yes we have one. We went out and sat in van and watched a prostitution sting take place. This was the only time during the class we saw a actual arrest happen. This was not staged it was real.
As I said any questions pleas ask and I will answer them. You may want to check and see if your local PD offers a class like this. You will get a lot out of it.