Whether you're addicted to watching crime shows on the couch or truly want to be out in the field, Darien is giving you a golden opportunity to see behind the scenes with its Citizen Police Academy.
The program is intended to open the lines of communication between Darien residents and its police force.
Some of the topics that the program will cover are a history and tour of the police department, traffic enforcement and accident investigation, DWI and vehicle stop demonstrations, criminal justice and domestic violence, forensics and crime scene investigation presentation, simmunitions, and Emergency Response Team.
"I think everyone will find something interesting. We have a lot of high tech equipment and impressive weapons available to us. We have a marine division. We have a dive team. We're going to try and have people simulate a police stop. Some will find vehicle stops interesting, some will find forensics interesting. Some will find forensics gross," Darien Police public information officer Detective Mark Cappelli said.
"I think unfortunately a large percentage of the times (when) citizens encounter police it's almost always on a negative note, it's a lot of negative surroundings when the civilians encounter with police. Positive encounters are less frequent than negative ones, and I think it's important for people to understand why we do what we do."
Police said the objective of the Darien Police Citizen Academy is not to train individuals to be a "Reserve Police Officer," but to produce informed citizens. The department hopes that by giving citizens a firsthand look at the rules, regulations and policies the police follow, certain misconceptions between citizens and police may be relieved. Citizens and police officers will meet each other face to face in a neutral, friendly setting and each becomes a person to the other. In the past, police said, citizens have only seen a uniform, and now they will have an understanding about the person behind the badge.
The program will run for six weeks and will include both informational sessions and instruction designed sessions to provide residents within the community the knowledge and understanding the Police Officer's duties, responsibilities and training requirements, according to a release. Officers from within the department will present the classes which will include both classroom and hands on training.
In order to apply you must be 21 or older, a Darien resident or business owner, a U.S. citizen of "good moral character" and have never been convicted of a felony, class A or Class B misdemeanor. The class will be limited to 20 people. The class will be held at the Darien Police Department on Thursdays form 8 to 9:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 4.
Applications can be downloaded from the Darien Police website at www.darienpolice.org, or obtained at the Darien Police Department. For more information contact Detective Mark Cappelli at Cappelli@darienct.gov or 203-662-5368.
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