Police academy set for Suffolk seniors

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, March 29, 2018

Suffolk’s seniors have the chance to take a deeper look at the Suffolk Police Department with the Senior Citizens Academy.

The academy will begin in June 2018, and it gives seniors to learn about the police department as well as to improve their personal safety.

“We want to have a good relationship with community members, and part of that is transparency with the people that live here,” said Professional Standards Division Capt. Cassandra Garvin. “We want the community to know what we do and see the different components and capabilities of our organization. The curriculum provides an opportunity for all of that.”

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Seniors will be instructed on topics including active shooter response, crime scene investigations, crime prevention, hostage negotiations and S.W.A.T. The history of law enforcement in America and Suffolk will also be discussed. The students will be given an overview of the department, its assets, capabilities and personnel.

These classes not only give the community knowledge about the practices that Suffolk Police follow, but it also allows them to be better citizens in Suffolk.

“Sometimes we have discussions on reporting crimes and being a good witness,” Garvin said. “If one of them is ever a victim of a crime, we tell them what they should do and should not do.”

Part of that instruction includes crime prevention by environmental design. Some of the courses show citizens how to make themselves and their homes a less attractive target.

The academy meets once a week for 10 weeks, and those wishing to participate have to fill out an application and have it returned no later than April 20. The academy doesn’t start until June, but this gives the police department ample time to run background checks.

Space will be limited to 30 people to make sure the class size is small.

“We want to make sure class is effective, and we have large discussions and we want to keep it small enough to participate in meaningful way,” Garvin said.

The application can be downloaded via the department’s website or picked up at any police station in Suffolk. Finished applications must be returned, in person or by mail, to 111 Henley Place, Suffolk, VA 23434. All paperwork is in care of Sgt. James Sobers.