As spring is turning into summer, this year’s first installment of the East Chicago Police Citizen’s Academy has come to a close.
This is the first year since the Academy began in 2013 that ECPD has run two courses; one in spring and one in fall. The second session was created to meet demand for the program and was made possible in part by a grant from Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) that the department received in 2016.
Participants in the spring course finished their training on May 25. They now will be able to remain in-contact with the department by serving as Ambassadors and accompanying officers at community events.
During their time at the Citizen’s Academy, residents were able to learn about what it takes to become a police officer as well as what the East Chicago officers encounter on the job. These lessons are taught through lectures, hands-on activities and outings.
One of the most anticipated activities is the use of the simulator to experience high pressure situations like a home invasion or a school shooting. In the simulation, participants have the opportunity to handle real weapons that have been modified for safety, and react to what is happening on the screen.
Citizen’s Academy members also participate in outings like neighborhood security walks. These walks allow officers to make their presence visible in the community and to talk with residents in a non-threatening environment.
The next session of the Citizen’s Academy will begin in the Fall. Space is available and applications can be picked up at the East Chicago Police Department. For more information, visit foundationsec.org.