Enrollment is underway for the Flossmoor Citizen Policy Academy’s next session. The 12-week program is designed to give local residents a working knowledge of how the police department operates. During the program, participants will have a chance to ride along with officers on patrol, use the department’s firing range and role-play situations that law enforcement personnel routinely encounter.
The next session in the free program begins in February. Weekly classes meet on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Classes are taught by Flossmoor police officers and law enforcement professionals from other agencies.
Topics include accident investigation, crime prevention, crime scene processing, drug identification, juvenile law, shoot and don’t shoot scenarios, traffic laws and DUI enforcement, use of force and arrest procedures.
George Reaves, who graduated from the last Citizen Police Academy, told the H-F Chronicle that he recommends the program to other Flossmoor residents. At the end of the last program, instructors chose Reaves for a citizenship award based upon class attendance, interest and overall participation.
“Flossmoor is a relatively safe place to live,” Reaves said. “When we dial 911, we get a rapid response. We go on vacation and know that the Flossmoor Police Department is watching our homes. It is easy to become complacent about or feel entitled to being safe in our homes and on our streets.
“Those things do not happen by accident. They require vigilance and cooperation between citizens and law enforcement. The Citizen Police Academy experience provides the information needed to help make that a reality.”
Reaves was asked why he decided to enroll in the Citizen Police Academy.
“I am a 70-year-old, retired, college-educated, law-abiding, Vietnam veteran and 30-year resident of Flossmoor,” he said. “As an African-American, I know how it feels to be racially profiled by police. When recent stories about police killing unarmed black men and the protests that followed became a part of our daily lives, I wanted to learn more about why the vast majority of police officers are able to perform their daily duties honorably and others are not. The Citizen Police Academy seemed to be a good place to look for answers.”
Persons taking part in the program must be at least 18 years old and must live or work in Flossmoor. They must be able to attend at least 10 sessions. They can have no felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions within a year of their application. Participants must submit to a background investigation.
Interested persons can fill out this application. Enrollment is limited. The application deadline is Jan. 15.