Police seek candidates

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Wanted: People willing to get involved in making their neighborhoods safer places to live and work.

The 12th session of the Suffolk Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9. The 17-session course will meet from 6:30-9:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as a couple of Saturdays, through Oct. 24, when graduation will be held.

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Participants must be 21 or over to participate.

The program is designed to help people deter crime in their respective neighborhoods by teaching them more about police work through hands-on experience, said Officer John K. Cooke, who is helping organize the program.

Most classes will be held in the police department’s assembly room at 120 N. Wellons St. Cooke said. The class will go on several field trips, including to Western Tidewater Regional Jail and Chesapeake Public Safety Academy’s firing range.

Participants will learn safe firearms handling through actual hands-on experience, he said.

An excursion to observe a demonstration in marine operations, and an exhibition of the Community Emergency Response Team is also planned, Cooke said.

Police officers, detectives, crime scene investigators, and alumni of previous sessions will speak to the class on their various law enforcement experiences. For example, Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Philips Ferguson and his assistants often discuss crime and punishment in Suffolk.

Oftentimes, graduates of the academy take the initiative to establish Neighborhood Watch programs in their respective communities. The program is just one &uot;civilian&uot; tool that a community can use to help police clean up the crime in a neighborhood.

Anyone interested in becoming a candidate should pick up an application at any Suffolk library branch, the Municipal Building’s information desk, police headquarters, or any police precinct. Applications are also available on the police department’s Web site, www.city.suffolk.va.us/police. For more information, call 923-2350.