My wife and I recently completed the Tacoma Police Department’s Citizens Academy, an 11-day program over 11 weeks. It is a thorough, comprehensive overview of the structure, function and human side of the police department.
Over 27 areas of police functions are addressed by the officers, staff and personnel. These dedicated individuals give us a unique perspective of the stress, terror and rewards of a law enforcement career.
A police lieutenant drove this point home, explaining that each day he puts on a bulletproof vest and a gun to go to work.
Recruitment, hiring and training. Dispatch, detention, chaplaincy. Patrol, gangs, homicide. These are but a few of the subjects presented. The topics are eye-opening, often jaw-dropping and occasionally tear-inducing.
The academy provides citizens and officers the opportunity to understand that our goals for safety and security are very much alike and very much attainable through mutual understanding, communication and respect.
Thanks to Chief Don Ramsdell, his leadership team and all those who make it possible for us to sleep easier at night.