I recently finished the Citizens Police Academy 15-week program. Why did I do this? First, I heard from two other people that the course was well worth taking and very informative. Second, I am involved with the Point Breeze Organization and have enjoyed working with Pittsburgh City Council on improving our neighborhood and hosting neighborhood events. My role on the PBO board is working with the safety committee. That involvement led me to the Citizens Police Academy course to get a better understanding about what all the different City of Pittsburgh Police departments do.
For 15 weeks, 3 hours per class, we had instructors and police officers explain what their departments do. Some of the courses included the bomb squad department. Since my birthday was closest to this class date, I got to wear the 90-pound bomb suit. Our class also went to the K-9 Unit training facility to meet and watch the K-9’s in training. The Citizens Review Board explained their function. A Duquesne University Law Professor discussed criminal law and how to determine at what level a criminal can be charged depending on the crime. We got to ride in BIG BEAR, the bomb squad vehicle. We did simulated police chases. There were so many more interesting classes.
The next class starts September 8 and applications are due by Friday, August 21. Class size is limited to 30 participants, and anyone interested must give permission for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to conduct a background check to determine if they have a criminal record. The participants in the class are from many neighborhoods and once in a while from West Virginia. I took the class with my wife and both of us enjoyed it.
Citizens Police Academy