cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
I've mentioned, several times, the fact that I had been participating in the 8th class to go through the Germantown Police Department's Citizen Police Academy (CPA). Our group 'graduated' last night after our final session which involved Officer Jeff Schnell and Officer Bosco (who sure seems to be healthy in spite of a couple of shaved spots following his recent medical adventure...Bosco, that is; not Jeff Schnell).
The CPA operates under the guidance of Crime Prevention and DARE Officer Ray Borden with Chief Hoell's full support and with the full cooperation of the various officers, detectives and support staff who were our instructors over the past three months, and who all take compensatory time (if it is available at all) instead of overtime for these activities. A tip of the hat to all will follow at the end of this piece.
So, just what did we all get from this CPA experience? Well, for starters, I have a much better appreciation for the department and its officers and other personnel. It always helps, in my experience, to have some of the mysteries dispelled, and I had many unanswered questions about law enforcement in general.
The thrust of this program is certainly to engender good public relations for the department. But, it is also meant to help citizens feel capable of taking some control on their own. For example, the Citizen Patrol squad will be seen throughout Germantown usually driven and occupied by graduates of this program. Citizens have no arrest authority but do have the ability to monitor neighborhoods clocking traffic speeds, noting 'violations' so that the department can intervene with a friendly letter indicating that they were observed and that this could've resulted in a ticket being issued. Class graduates are regular volunteers for village needs that require something less than a sworn officer but that do require the person to have knowledge of procedure, etc.
Graduates have the opportunity to ride along with officers to observe and experience. Graduates can become involved in various special projects, and have created some of those projects on their own. Graduates were very much involved in the quest for a motorcycle patrol and for the K-9 program, both of which are supported almost entirely from public contributions.
We all learned about the current world of drugs in our community so that we might be better able to identify with the problem and help in our own families. We learned about investigations, finger printing, exercise and diets, dispatch, traffic enforcement, the emergency response team, accident scene investigation/reconstruction and juvenile services. We learned, for example, that Bosco was involved in the recent bank robbery and found evidence that likely had been hidden in a charcoal grill by one of the suspects. And, I think we formed a level of camaraderie within our group. I met residents that I'd have never had the opportunity to get to know.
This was and is a great experience and I'd encourage any of you that have interest to let CPO Ray Borden know. If you'd like, I'll be happy to pass your indication of interest on to him (since he may not want his direct line broadcast all over Germantown). You can click on the 'e-mail' link above and send your e-mail to me in confidence.
Finally, the tip of the hat to all those with whom we interacted, some several times (and my apologies if I miss anyone):
Chief Hoell, CPO Borden, Ofc.Case, Cpl.Delmore, Det.Yogerst and Det.Schmitt, Communications Supervisor Schmidt, Lt. Schreihart, Cpl.Rechlicz, SRO Miller, Det.Eggers, Ofc. Schnell and Ofc. Bosco.