The most recent class of the Citizens Police Academy graduated from the program Friday, Dec. 29.
The academy gives citizens the opportunity to learn more about police work from an inside perspective. Officers from the department led classes on a variety of topics.
Twelve participants attended the most recent academy. Participants were: Judy Brosky, Jerry Coutinho, Helga Faulenbach, Linda Gaudet, Lynda Jardin, Lee Loranger, Rosemary Lucas, Rachel McGowrthy, Andrew Mellgard, Barbara Moss, Lois Spirlet and Linda Tynan-Minardi.
Chief Joseph Cordeiro told the graduates that he hoped their experienced reminded them of the human side of police work.
“People forget sometimes that we are just human beings,” Chief Cordeiro said. “We have worries, we have conflicts, we get tired, we get hurt. At the end of the day, we take off our uniforms but we don’t get to shed off our experiences. We have to make quick decisions sometimes. We do make mistakes, but most of the time we get it right.”
By participating in the academy, graduates “transitioned from guests to members of our family,” he said.
Lt. Ricard Rezendes, who oversaw the academy, told the academy participants that the police department is a close-knit group. “The men and women of the department have close bonds and are part of a larger family,” he said. “This class is now part of that family.”
Chief Cordeiro urged the graduates to be advocates for the police department during their daily lives.
Academy members learned about active shooter response, domestic violence issues, gangs, First Aid, firearms, port security, K-9 unit, defensive tactics and Safetynet, a program that can help locate vulnerable members of the community when they go missing.
The next academy is expected to be held in the spring.