I recently completed an eight-week citizens police academy provided by the Lebanon Police Department. I learned of this class through Cpl. P.J. Hardy who helped my community set up a neighborhood watch. Hardy is the public information officer for Lebanon and is the coordinator for the academy.
The purpose of the class is to provide the citizens of Lebanon with insight into the daily operations of the police department with the hope that the knowledge learned will foster a better relationship with the department.
During the eight weeks we covered gang awareness, DUI enforcement, self defense, computer crimes and fraud, handgun safety, SWAT team and and met the officers who worked in the different divisions. We were introduced to the K-9 unit’s drug sniffing dog and was given a demonstration of the dog’s unique abilities. We also met the SWAT team and the CID team and were able to see the tools they use do their jobs.
We were also given the opportunity to ride along with a patrol officer as he did patrols throughout our city. This proved to be an interesting and eye-opening experience for me. On every encounter during my ride along, I was impressed with the courtesy and respect given to the citizens by the officer when he had to pull someone over.
What I took away from this very positive experience was that we have a very well-trained and well-equipped police department. They have the training and the tools needed to do their job.
Thanks to Hardy and the other officers who made this a rewarding and educational experience, and thanks to Mayor Bernie Ash for being supportive of our police and fire departments.