Upcoming class offers a firsthand look into the Pasadena Police Department
If you’ve ever watched one of the popular crime shows on TV and wondered how close to real life it actually was, or if you are looking for a way to get more involved in the community, or even if you’d just like to meet new people, the upcoming Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is for you.
The Pasadena Police Department is currently accepting applications from Pasadena residents or business owners who are interested in participating in the program. The CPA is designed to provide participants with information to help them better understand the operation of the Pasadena Police Department.
Throughout the 13-week program, which begins on March 1, participants will attend a weekly class every Tuesday from 7-10 p.m. in PPD’s Community Room (1201 Davis). The classes will vary from lectures to demonstrations and even hands-on practice, and they will cover a different area of the department each week. Planned topics include police pursuits, juvenile investigations, DWI, criminal investigations, SWAT, crime lab and crime scene investigations. Mollie Payne, in PPD’s community services division, said the CPA highlights and explains the many different facets of the police department.
“The CPA helps people see what an officer really goes through,” Payne said. “The course gives citizens the chance to see the department in a whole new light.”
Beyond learning about the police department, Payne said students also form friendships. Traditionally, CPA classes have been limited to a small number of students, so as the group spends time together, doing things like observing in the department’s dispatch center, riding along with officers during a shift or driving a police car at the driving track, they tend to form close bonds.
“Everyone that takes part loves it; they just have fun. And we’ve had a cross-section of our community involved in past classes. For example, our oldest CPA participant to date is almost 90 years old,” Payne said. “It’s a chance for everyone to get involved and to really get to know the police department and our officers.”
In fact, she said many of them enjoy it so much that they continue with the program by joining its alumni association. The alumni group meets regularly and also helps with many different projects, including cold case files, emergency management evacuation exercises and resident officer surveys. If interested, after completing additional special training, CPA alumni can also work on police search teams, write tickets for handicap parking violations and help patrol parks.
Alumni also regularly participate with PPD at special events, like parades, department events and neighborhood programs. The group also awards scholarships and has donated many different types of equipment to the police department.
To apply for the Citizen Police Academy or for more information, contact Mollie Payne at (713) 920-1655. Participants must be a Pasadena business owner or resident, pass a background check and be at least 21 years old. Enrollment is free, but space is limited.