The San Bernardino Police Department graduated its 11th Community Police Academy on Wednesday, November 8. 52 people completed the 8-week course held on Wednesday nights.
The Community Police Academies have helped bridge the communications gap by educating the public on the various functions of the police department. The academy class topics have included presentations from the patrol division, investigations division, records, traffic, SWAT, K-9, forensics, gang enforcement, vice and narcotics, mounted, and code enforcement units.
Many of the academy’s classes not only included lectures, but offered hands-on demonstrations by SWAT, mounted and K-9 units. Academy members were given the opportunity to try the “Use of Force” simulator, which demonstrated the need for making proper split-second decisions in shooting situations. All of the classes helped illustrate how the police department keeps its community safe.
Sereena Olea, Roxxanne Olea, and Elizabeth Suarez attended the academy. They all worked for American Medical Response, an ambulance and paramedic service. They came with a sparked interest in seeing how the Crime Scene Investigative/Forensics Unit worked. They all had an interest in the forensic field. Forensic Specialist Kara Tennison took time from her schedule and gave Sereena, Roxanne and Elizabeth a personalized tour of the Forensics Unit, and showed them how many evidence processing procedures took place.
So how effective has this program been for the department? Ask Patricia Lay and Patricia Kilmer. Lay is a current graduate of the Community Police Academy and this is her fourth time through the program. Lay said “she learns something new every time she attends.” Lay is now in the process of applying as a Citizens Patrol Volunteer.
Kilmer is also a graduate of the current academy and is her fifth time going through the program. “They add new things every time, sometimes they have different people teaching the classes which offers a different perspective,” said Patricia Kilmer. “It’s not only important for me to know how things work, but why it works, which is what you get during the academy session,” said Kilmer.
Inland Empire Job Corps Center Business and Community Liaison Claudia Lopez brought several of the Job Corps students to attend the Community Police Academy and were able to earn their certificates of completion.