Cape police lacking applications for upcoming citizens academy

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Cape Girardeau Police Department would like to train residents in the various facets of law enforcement, but only if enough people want to learn.

The Cape Girardeau Citizens Police Academy is slated to begin March 13, but the department is still shy of the 10 applicants needed, said Cpl. Ike Hammonds, who runs the academy. Applications for the academy are due Thursday, and the department has only received two.

"We offer this every year, but we don't always get enough applicants for it," Hammonds said. "There's no rhyme or reason to it."

Since 1998, the department has put on 10 police academies. It did not hold one last year because it did not have enough applicants, Hammonds said. Applicants must pass a background check.

If it gets enough applicants, the academy will begin with an orientation and tour of the police station March 13. Subsequent sessions will teach students about domestic violence, the jail system, 911 dispatch, firearms and other facets of law enforcement, according to a news release.

"This allows citizens to learn about programs and how we administer law enforcement here," Hammonds said.

The academy will have seven two-hour sessions on Tuesdays between March 13 and April 24. Representatives from various sections of the police department and city officials will speak at each session. Some of the presenters include Lt. John Davis, who will teach students about the patrol division; nuisance and abatement officer Ty Metzger, who will speak on animal control; assistant city attorney Greg Young, who will talk about how the municipal court system works; and patrolwoman Debbie Oliver, who will teach students about domestic violence, according to the release.

Hammonds has asked them to have an interactive element to their presentation. While Hammonds does not know what each speaker will do to engage students, he said handouts, props and skits have been popular in past years.

Students used a handgun simulator to learn about firearms and conducted mock traffic stops while enrolled in 2010's academy.

What students learn in the academy is representative of all police departments, not just Cape Girardeau.

"We're doing the same thing here as they're doing in New York and Chicago," Hammonds said. "It's just a little smaller."

To apply to the academy, call the police department at 335-6621.

psullivan@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

40 S. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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