Citizen’s Police Academy

My wonderful yoga instructor has added a second class each week. My best friend, who takes the class with me, said we should go twice a week. I agreed…except I can’t until the end of March because the second class is the same night as my Citizen’s Police Academy class. My friend laughed. I don’t think she thought I was serious when I said I was taking that, but I am! Our first class was last night and I can tell already it’s going to be a great class.

We met at the U of I police department, which is located in the basement of the Old Capitol Mall. Who knew there even WAS a basement in the Old Capitol Mall? (It took me a while to find it last night…I eventually had to ask a security guard.) Given the Old Capitol Mall is dying a slow death (actually, it’s being consumed by the University), I expected it to be pretty scary down there. But it wasn’t. It was brightly lit, freshly painted (the department just moved in down here last year)…it was hard to believe I was still in the Old Capitol Mall.

Last night we listened to a presentation on ethics in the police department and then a session on how one becomes a police officer. I learned that I could become a police officer. I could actually pass the physical test! (I would not have guessed that.) A woman in my age group needs to be able to run a mile and a half in 16:58 (I run a mile in 9-10 minutes…3.2 miles in 32-33 minutes), do 9 push-ups in a minute (I can do it!), 20 sit-ups in a minute (ditto) and score 17.3 on flexibility (I’m not really sure what that means, but apparently nobody fails that…and I’m pretty flexible anyway). Apparently, 60% of women in my age group can do all this…the physical test is set up such that 60% of the population would be able to pass it. (I did not know that.)

Next week we’re going to learn about use of force and we’re going to learn some “defensive tactics.” I’m looking forward to the evidence collection week and the K-9 week.

This is going to be really good for my writing! (That’s why I signed up.) I’ve had to talk to someone at the police department as research for three of my books (four if you count the book I needed to talk to a 9-1-1 dispatcher). I figure this will give me new perspective for my mystery writing. We also get to go on at least one four-hour “ride along.” We’re “encouraged” to go on more than one. Sounds great to me…police officers are full of stories!

9 thoughts on “Citizen’s Police Academy

  1. barely random commenter

    wow, that sounds like a lot of fun, and definitely will be good for your writing :0) I once thought of taking a class for citizens attack response, but then I chickened out because I thought it would be me and a bunch of old republican dudes.

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