Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 22
Community Corner: Citizens' academy is back at SMPD
BY AMY ASMAN
After a multi-year hiatus, the Santa Maria Police Department is once again starting up its citizens’ academy. Locals who are accepted to this eight-week academy will learn all about what the city’s police officers do on a daily basis, and they’ll also get the chance to voluntarily participate in a patrol ride-a-long and hands-on law enforcement training.
Presentations by the agency’s special weapons and tactics team, K9 unit, gang suppression team, and crime lab are all on the instruction schedule.
“Everybody always walks away amazed about what we do … and how we handle the volume [of calls the department gets],” Sgt. Mark Streker said.
The department is currently accepting applications for the academy, which begins on Sept. 3 at the Santa Maria Police Department training classroom, 206 E. Cook St. Classes will be held Wednesday nights from 6 to 8: 30 p.m. through Oct. 22. For those who usually eat dinner right around that time, don’t worry: Streker said there will be a potluck sign-up sheet, so someone brings food each week. A graduation class and ceremony will be held on Oct. 29.
The academy is free, but there are only 20 spots available on a first come, first served basis. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and residents of Santa Barbara County to participate.
“The new chief and new staffing have made some incredible changes in our department,” Streker said. “It fills up pretty quickly. We’re at about 10 already. We’ll have to cap it at 20, but there will be a waiting list for the next class.”
Managing Editor Amy Asman compiled this week’s Community Corner. Information should be sent to the Sun via mail, email, or fax.