Thursday, February 26, 2015

Citizen's Police Academy

I am really thrilled with the Citizen's Police Academy that I am participating in for eight weeks.  We are learning so very much about the workings of our town's police department and the criminal justice system.

Being a gun enthusiast, I really liked the night they showed us their firearms.  You may remember in a post from last summer where I told about the police walking up my driveway with a shotgun in his hands!  I walked out the door and said, "Is this about the rabid fox in our neighborhood?"  They found it in my yard.

Another night, our county's District Attorney and the Public Defender spoke to us.  I didn't know that the DA's office has outreach programs to reach inner city youngsters at an early age to hopefully start them on the right path so that they never end up in the criminal justice system.  The idea is to encourage reading and to let the children know the police officer is their friend.

Recently our two town judges spoke to us.  Another new thing I learned, these two judges are on call 24/7 to be called in for arraignments.  The first question someone asked, "Why do you have to do an arraignment at 2:00 am?  Why can't you do it later that morning?"

The judge responded, "That's what my wife asks everytime the phone rings in the middle of the night!"

When someone is arrested on a felony, they need to be brought into court immediately to be told what they are charged with.  Our town police department only has a holding cell.  There is no way to provide for a prisoner.  Therefore, they need to be arraigned and then carried to the jail downtown unless they can post bail on the spot.

In an upcoming class, we will see the police dogs used by the City of Rochester.  I will have to curb my natural tendency to walk up to them and put my arms around them!  These dogs are not meant to be cuddled and played with!

Many police departments hold these classes, so check with your area to see if they are offered.  I highly recommend them.

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