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Seventh Annual Citizens' Police Academy Concludes --The Art Of Policing Goes Public



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Seventh Annual Citizens’ Police Academy Concludes ––

The Art Of Policing Goes Public

By Andrew Gorosko

Based on positive responses from participants in the recent Citizens Police Academy, the police department plans to conduct the informational program again next spring, according to Sergeant Christopher Vanghele, the academy’s coordinator.

The free program, which is intended to provide the general public with the rudiments of local law enforcement, presents a large amount of information to citizens during ten weekly sessions. Twenty-six people participated in the recent academy program. It was the seventh academy program held during the past decade. Many of the participants were local business owners, Sgt Vanghele noted. Men outnumbered women in the course, with 22 men and four women taking part.

Based on the responses of participants, the police department may cut certain segments from the program and add other subject matter.

Participants said they especially liked informational sessions on crime scene investigations and on the enforcement of drunken driving laws, according to Sgt Vanghele. The sergeant was the lecturer at a session on domestic violence. “I have always been interested in teaching,” he said.

As part of the academy, participants rode in a police patrol car with a patrol officer for a four-hour period to gain a first-hand of police work. Participants’ personal safety is not compromised during the ride-along session, Sgt Vanghele said.

Besides providing participants with information about policing, the program also is designed to create a group of police advocates, or members of the community, who ally themselves with police, Sgt Vanghele said. Through the program, participants gain a sense of the issues that police address in the course of law enforcement, he said.

Because the sessions last three hours, police are able to go into great detail about the issues they face, he said. The academy’s content is customized to reflect law enforcement as it applies to Newtown, he said.

Sources of potential new academy members include the families and friends of the people who recently completed the course, the sergeant said.

The curriculum includes: a tour of the police station, the history of policing, police dispatching, the 911 emergency telephone system, becoming a police officer, patrol work, crime prevention, motor vehicle law, driving under the influence, the use of force, police liability, motor vehicle accident investigations, criminal law, arrest warrants, criminal investigations, evidence, crime scenes, juvenile law, school law, and domestic violence law.

Participating in the recent Citizens Police Academy were: Kevin Parker, Thomas Catalina, James Bergeron, Jane Sharpe, John Krause, Steve LaBianco, Jose Flavio Rosa, Charles “Skip” Annett, Reginaldo DaSilva, Vince Cannavo, Donald Gabriel, Jr, Robert Conley, Shauna Lee-Carmichael, Kimberly Piper, Thomas Gissen, Richard Miller, Ray Schettino, Margaret Wood, John Swiatowicz, Gregg Johnstone, Martin Urieta, Scott Buchta, Rob Sibley, Brenda Lee Pulver, Oscar Siller, and Ron Labrecque.

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