The Pasadena Police Department is looking for a few good men and women to participate in its Community Police Academy.
The academy represents an interactive way to promote greater understanding between the people of the Pasadena area and the way the police conduct official business.
“For the people who take part in the academy you see all different walks of life, all different professions, all different ages,” said Lt. Sean Dawkins. “My recommendation is to apply and find out what we’re all about. Come in with an open mind and ask a lot of questions.”
Classes start March 21 and run through May 9. A cycle in Spanish runs from May 2 to June 20.
“I’ve never seen anyone aggressive come in, but there are people who come in and question what we do and don’t understand what our role is out there, and they do ask a lot of questions,” said Dawkins. “With the new chief, I think he’s trying to bring the police department and the community together. That’s the whole purpose of the program.”
Those accepted into the program get to see how the police force operates.
First there’s the classroom work and followed by more action-oriented activities.
“They go up to the heliport, and it’s a little more hands-on, that’s always exciting.” Dawkins said. “The canine unit is one of the favorite ones. Everybody likes the dogs. The canine handler will come out and people get to see the training they do. They show them how they can do a search for narcotics.”
Citizens also get to go on a police ride-along of four hours duration.
Dawkins said the program is designed for two-way communication and gives the police satisfaction too. When they’re holding the Community Police Academy, the entire department gets the memo requesting volunteer facilitators in the class.
“Every class has two facilitators assigned to it and they can be a sworn police officer or some of our non sworn staff and they’re there every class,” Dawkins said. “I was a facilitator maybe seven or eight years ago. It’s a good experience. As a young officer, you see a different aspect of really communicating and connecting with the community and you can answer their questions on a candid level. It opens your eyes to a different aspect of policing.”
To enroll, contact CSO Sarah Presley at (626) 744-7650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .