Ever wonder why three police cars are needed for one vehicle at a traffic stop? Or what a police officer’s belt contains? Or how a flashbang works?
After a two-year hiatus, the Sylvania Township Police Department once again is to offer the Citizens Police Academy, starting next month, at its police department at 4420 King Road.
“The Citizens Police Academy gives our citizens a perspective of our job,” said Police Chief Rob Boehme. “This helps people realize the procedure and forethought that goes into everything we do.”
The academy began in 2000 as a way to educate the residents on what, how, and why police enact certain procedures and tactics. In the last two years, not enough participants signed up. However, this year a group of residents expressed interest in the program.
The course, which starts April 2 and is every Tuesday for eight weeks, will give participants a peek into what it takes to be an officer. Each week a department expert will explain a different topic or officer duty.
The academy is free for those who live or work in Sylvania or Sylvania Township.
Among those topics will be officer safety, dispatch operations, a Taser demonstration, a presentation on the equipment, weapons, and gadgets used by the Special Response Team or SWAT, and a day at the firing range.
“Every aspect of what we do in law enforcement will be reviewed,” said Officer Jeff Matuszewski.
All departments are involved.
“They really love it, they look forward to it,” Police Sgt. Clarence Whalen said.
Instructors will explain what their responsibilities and duties are as officers.
For example, Sergeant Whalen said that the usage of Mace induces panic in person because it restricts the ability to breathe.
“It is our responsibility to calm them down and care for them,” said Officer Matuszewski, who organized this year’s academy.
The training will conclude with a four-hour ridealong with officers during normal patrol hours. Those who complete the course could be candidates for the Citizens Patrol Group. Volunteers help patrol streets, help with car lockouts, and direct traffic flow in case of an accident.
The Sylvania Township Citizens Police Academy is set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday nights from April 2 to May 21. A graduation ceremony will be May 28.