The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 8, 2012

Community policing expands to citizens police academy

Van Holland

TARBORO — If you have ever wanted to learn what police officers do on the job on a day-to-day basis or what it is like to ride in the police car as an officer, then you will get the opportunity the week of Tuesday, Dec. 4.

That's because the Tarboro Police Department will be hosting a Citizens Police Academy at Edgecombe Community College at that time.

Citizens who want to attend the academy must be at least 18 and have either a high school diploma or GED.

Police Chief Damon Williams said the academy will be a good way to show the community what police officers do every day while on duty. Williams is encouraging citizens to sign up and attend the academy so they, too, can become a set of eyes to help keep the community safer.

"Why have 30 eyes out there policing when we can have 12,000 eyes policing the streets of Tarboro?" Williams asked. "I want citizens to come out and learn about what an officers' job consists of on a day-to-day basis. It will be a great learning experience."

The academy will make citizens a little more cautious while teaching things to be on the lookout out for. He said the academy will help educate them on a wide variety of topics.

One of the things that will be taught will be the processing of a crime scene. Citizens will be able to learn what officers do when they approach a crime scene, how they go about determining the boundaries of the scene and how establishing a perimeter can help work the crime scene. Participants will learn about all aspects of investigating a crime scene.

Citizens will also learn about firearm safety and will be shown what officers go through when they have firearms training.

Sgt. Al Braxton said there will be sessions in the class where the citizens learn about different ordinances within the community and they will learn what officers go through when they attend basic law enforcement training.

The week-long class will be what basically happens in the standard basic law enforcement police academy where officers go to get certified.

After the the academy is completed, citizens who attend the academy will have the opportunity to complete a ride along with officers.

"We are looking forward to showing the citizens what we do every day as officers," Williams said. "It will be a lot of fun for the citizens. We are going to show videos of what law enforcement is really about."

Applications may be obtained at the police department at 318 North Main St. Persons with questions may call 641-4247 and ask to speak to Braxton, WIlliams or Lt. Bill Braswell.