From the desk of Chief Gregory: Citizen’s Police Academy offers glimpse at day-today life of a police officer

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BUCKHANNON – Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a police officer?

Have you ever wanted to know what type of training police officers undergo; how crimes are reported and investigated; or what types of equipment police officers utilize in their day-to-day duties?

For anyone who has had even a passing curiosity about what police officers do, especially from a local law enforcement perspective, then the Buckhannon Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy is definitely for you.

Started approximately 19 years ago, the police department has had the opportunity to host this program numerous times over the years. With the introduction of our volunteer program –Volunteers in Police Service or VIPS – we began using the Citizen’s Police Academy as a training module for our new volunteers.

However, we still open up the Citizen’s Police Academy to anyone who is interested and not just for those who are joining VIPS – although that is always an option should an attendee choose to do so.

The Citizen’s Police Academy gives participants a unique look at law enforcement generally, and at the Buckhannon Police Department specifically. Organized over a time span of nine weeks, participants meet at the Public Safety Complex Community and Training Room once a week in the evening for about three hours.

During this time a variety of topics are presented, including: the police selection process, reporting systems, 911 and radio operations, National Incident Management System, community policing programs, accident investigations, crime scene investigations and self-defense.

The most valuable takeaway, however, has always been the interpersonal relationships that are forged between community members and members of the police department and other public safety agencies during the course of this program.

The best part? The Citizen’s Police Academy is free of charge to all taking the program.

For anyone interested in this program, the next Citizen’s Police Academy is scheduled to begin March 13 at 6 p.m. and continue every week at that time for nine weeks. Applications for the Citizen’s Police Academy can be obtained at the Buckhannon Police Department at 24 S. Florida St. or by calling us at 304-472-5723.

If anyone should have any questions or want further information, I can be contacted at the aforementioned number or at mattgregory@buckhannonpolice.com.