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Police Again Offer Citizen Police Academy

The Newtown Police Department will again sponsor its Citizen Police Academy, a free educational   program intended to inform residents about law enforcement issues and, more broadly, about the criminal justice system.

The annual program was not offered in 2013, in the aftermath of the December 2012 shooting incident at Sandy Hook School, but is now resuming.

This year’s session marks the 18th time that the police department has offered the program. Patrol Sergeant David Kullgren is the program coordinator.

The program, which is designed for adults, runs for ten weeks, meeting for three hours one night per week. The sessions offer both classroom and practical instruction.

Besides providing participants with an overview of what it is like to be a police officer in Newtown, the academy explains how local, state, and federal agencies work together to solve crimes and prevent crimes.

In is expected the academy’s first session will be held on February 27, with the final session on May 1. The three-hour sessions will be held on Thursday nights in a public building. The course may include field trips.

Subjects in the course will include: a tour of the police station, the police hiring process, police field training, patrol operations, crime prevention, crime scene investigation, fingerprinting, police dog usage, traffic enforcement, firearms and police weaponry. Discussion will include the enforcement of laws covering drunken driving and motor vehicles, as well as laws affecting juveniles and the schools.

Each person who participates would have an opportunity to ride along with a police patrol officer for four hours to learn about patrol work. Participants would not be placed in dangerous situations, according to police.

The majority of instructors for the academy will be Newtown police officers. Guest speakers from state and federal agencies may participate.

The Citizen Police Academy is open to residents of Newtown and surrounding towns. Participants must be at least 18 years old. The class size is limited to 25 people, with preference given to Newtown residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications to participate in the program are available at the police station lobby at 3 Main Street or on the police department’s website, www.newtown-ct.gov/Public_Documents/NewtownCT_Police/index.

The deadline to submit applications is Thursday, February 13. Police said that they would contact people who have been approved to attend the academy on or about February 23.

Applicants for the academy will be subject to a “criminal history record verification” before acceptance into the academy.

People who have questions about the Citizen Police Academy may contact Sgt Kullgren via e-mail at david.kullgren@newtown-ct.gov. The police telephone number is 203-426-5841.

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