The sight of a police officer approaching could mean many things. Depending on the situation, it could mean you’re about to get saved, about to get busted or perhaps get a firm warning.
Law enforcement officials often get a bad rap because many of their interactions with the public have a negative connotation, despite attempts from community police forces to change that impression. Here in Sheridan, police officers and sheriff’s deputies make an effort to appear at public events and interact with their neighors in an informal, postive manner.
But you never really understand where a person is coming from until you walk a ways in their shoes right?
One way to do that, at least to the extent you can without going to their training school, is to participate in the Sheridan Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy.
Since 2011, the SPD has offered the 12-week course as a way to foster “better communication and relationships through education.”
The course includes 12, three-hour long classes on varying aspects of police work including patrol operations, criminal law, tactical team operations, firearms, K-9 operations, DUI procedures, domestic violence awareness, drug awareness, criminal investigations and school emergency preparedness.
The classes are thorough and are taught by a variety of police officers. You get to do hands-on training and firearms practice and even spend a day on the SPD firing range learning different techniques and talk about varying situations the officers face.
The Sheridan Press has had one staff member work through the entire class and another cover the coursework as time allowed.
The entire 12 weeks were informative and helpful. They did, in fact, help members of those respective classes form relationships with our city’s police. While our community typically seems quiet, with a fairly small amount of crime, officers and deputies do put themselves in danger on a regular basis while at the same time showing support for some of the most vulnerable citizens among us.
The class is a large time commitment, which can be intimidating for someone who only wants a glance at what the officers do each day.
But for those who want an in-depth, hands on experience, this is the opportunity.
Applications can be found on the city’s website, sheridanwy.net, or at the police station. Sign up by Feb. 15 to participate.