PHOTO: Members of the 2019 Citizen Police Academy graduating class pose for a photo. // Photo submitted by Assistant Police Chief Tommy Walsh.
By RACHAEL LONG
High school seniors aren’t the only ones becoming graduates this season in Brentwood.
Members of the Brentwood community earned their own recognitions by graduating last week from the Citizen Police Academy.
After a 10-week long “behind the scenes” look at how the Brentwood Police Department operates, 16 Brentwood residents and business people now have a more complete understanding of what police officers and personnel deal with on a daily basis.
The members of the 2019 program were graduates of the 24th session of the Citizen Police Academy, according to coordinator and leader Capt. Alan Hardcastle.
Assistant Police Chief Tommy Walsh said the academy offers students the chance to participate in practical exercises like traffic stops, building searches, firearm familiarization and more.
Some of the topics included in the program, Walsh said, are as follows:
Other Topics included:
- Department Organization
- National Accreditation
- Internal Affairs and Administrative Complaints
- Use of Force
- ASP Baton and Chemical Weapons
- Testing/Selection/Hiring and Training of Officers
- Field Training Program
- Patrol Operations
- DARE and Community Programs
- Traffic Enforcement/Accident Investigation and DUI
- Drug Task Force
- Criminal Investigations Division
- Terrorist Threats
At a recent City Commission meeting, Commissioner Anne Dunn thanked the department for a “very nice event” at the Citizen Police Academy graduation. She mentioned that while some residents may think the the program generates some type of “auxiliary police force,” it’s actually more like having “cheerleaders out in the community supporting the police department.”
“That’s nice in your community, that [officers] know there are people out there that have their backs all the time,” Dunn said.
In order to participate in the Citizen Police Academy, an applicant must be 21 years of age or older, have no felony convictions, be a Brentwood resident or be employed within the city of Brentwood and be subject to a limited background check.
The next Citizen Police Academy will take place in March of 2020, but according to Hardcastle, there’s already a waiting list “for 2020 and beyond.”
Dates have not yet been finalized for 2020 academy classes, Hardcastle said.
For more information on the Citizen Police Academy or to apply for the program, visit the city’s website here or contact Hardcastle at 615-577-6041.