Police are not only working from the police departments, but also at the homes of local residents.
Fifteen civilians graduated from the Hogansville Police Department’s Civilian Police Academy on Tuesday evening, after completing a 12-week program.
“The Civilian Police Academy is a thing that bridges both the community and the police department. It bridges trust. It’s created to have healthy environment to let everyone know that it’s not us against them, it’s us working together. It is one of the things I consider a great accomplishment for the city and for the citizens and the police department to work together.” said Chief Moses Ector.
The graduates met one Tuesday evening a month in which they learned about all aspects of policing. The program was free to participants and was taught by police officers and industry professionals.
“They learn it’s not like what you see on TV. There’s a difference in what you see on TV versus what cops really do.” said Hoansville Police Sgt. Richard Wolfe, who was an instructor for some of the CPA classes including the firearms training class.
Some of the subjects the graduates covered included investigations, public safety, homeland security, tasers, animal control, evidence collection, court/ probation services, among various areas of policing. They also toured the jail facility, could participate in ride-alongs with an officer and were given K-9 demonstrations. This year a firearms training class was added to the schedule, in which they were able to handle and fire two different firearms.
“The gun shooting was my favorite. That was kind of exciting. I was a little nervous about it at first though.” said Laura Fomby, a second time graduate of the academy. “I also liked the Alzheimer’s class. I thought learning about the elderly was very interesting.”
In 1985, Orlando, Fla., was the first U.S. city to host a CPA, after the idea was borrowed from the police night school in Britain. The first class of graduates from the Hogansville CPA was in September of 2008. The goal was to bridge the divide between citizens and police and reduce crime through a stronger citizens commitment.
“We can’t be everywhere and see everything, but the citizens always see something.” said Wolfe. “They’re helping solve crimes.They give us the problem in their community and we’ll try to work together to help solve them.”
Wolfe said by going through the classes, the citizens also got an in depth look at how community policing gets the community involved by doing the blanket-to-elderly program and fruit basket program.
It is currently undetermined when classes will begin for the next CPA program. To find out more information about the Hogansville CPA, the contact the Hogansville Police Department at 706-637-6648.