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SJPD Wants You to Become a Citizen Cop

Apr 07, 2016 04:39PM ● Published by Sandra Osborn

By Sandra Osborn | s.osborn@mycityjournals.com

South Jordan - Ever wanted to ride in a police car? Loved “Cops” or “NYPD Blue”? If you ever dressed up as a police officer as a child or simply want to learn more about police work, the South Jordan Police Department (SJPD) invites you to attend the 2016 Citizen Police Academy.

The Citizen Police Academy is a nine-week course that gives insight into the public service of the police department. Offered from April 28 through June 28, the academy meets on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. It is free of charge to members of the community who live or work in South Jordan.  

Officer David Adams is in charge of this year’s Citizen Police Academy. He first encountered the program as an attendee back in 2008. He was a South Jordan resident working on his criminal justice degree and wanted to learn everything he could about becoming a police officer. 

“I got to know some of the officers and was impressed by their professionalism and their service for the community,” Adams said. 

After his degree, he made his way back to the SJPD. He worked as an intern for the city and eventually got hired as a police officer. He currently works with community outreach, teaching DARE in schools and at the Citizen Police Academy in the spring. 

“Building trust is vital to having a safer community. As one of Sir Robert Peel’s nine principles of policing states, the police is the public and the public is the police. We don’t exist without the public. They make what we do possible,” Adams said.

“One of our core values at the SJPD is transparency with the public. The Citizen Police Academy is one way in which we can be transparent as to what our role is as police officers in the community. By spending time with us, residents have the opportunity to see who we are and what we do day to day,” Adams said. 

Participants of the Citizen Police Academy can expect to learn about patrol and traffic operations, crime scene investigations, and get behind the scenes on detective work. Topics also include peace officer liability, drugs and gangs, school crimes, the crime victim program and court operations. 

The program is set to be an exciting hands-on experience. By way of training at the police department, participants also have workshops on arrest control, defensive tactics, SWAT and firearm safety.

“We want it to be fun, informative and interesting,” Adams said. “We start by going over the laws and the responsibilities of the police officers, but we try to limit class time and rather spend time working through scenario training. We go over traffic stops, patrol responsibilities, shooter and non-shooter scenarios. We tour the Dispatch Center. In the past, we have had a day at the shooting range. Participants get to use sim guns, which look and feel like real guns but fire paint rounds.”

The academy culminates with a four-hour ride-along with a police officer. Participants must pass a basic criminal background check to participate in the officer ride-along. 

Upon completion, participants receive a certificate at a graduation ceremony with the chief of police, the mayor, and the city council present. 

“I encourage people to apply. We are excited to get to know more of the residents and have a better understanding of their needs,” Adams said.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older. Class size is limited to 25 participants and meets at the South Jordan Police Department at 1600 West Towne Center Drive. Applications and more information are available online at http://www.sjc.utah.gov/police/CitizenPoliceAcademy.asp or at the South Jordan Police Department. Application deadline is April 15. 

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