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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT
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Police Academy Trains Citizens

Have you ever wanted to walk in a Greenwich police officer's shoes? If so, there's still time to apply for this year's Citizens Police Academy.

The police-funded program provides residents with a free crash course into law enforcement in town. "It really opens your eyes to see that we're not just the bringer of bad news," says Officer Keith Hirsch, who usually teaches community impact classes. "It creates, for once, positive contact with the police department."

Recruits will have the opportunity to participate in a two-hour ride-along program with a patrol supervisor or field training officer as well as a two-hour boat ride-along on Long Island Sound with the Marine Patrol.

"It gives citizens a complete outreach into the inner workings of the police department," Sgt. Mike Reynolds, the coordinator of the academy, says.

Class topics include patrol operations, use of force, motor vehicle stops, domestic violence investigations, the Connecticut court system, juvenile investigation, community impact section, marine operations, crime scene processing, narcotics investigations, school resource officer, police K-9 demonstration and special response unit.

"Not everything is glamorous, like crime scene investigations and the K-9 unit, but the more mundane aspects like handling noise complaints and directing traffic is still a major part of why we're here," said Lt. Kraig Gray, communications officer for the police department.

The class is in high demand, so applicants will be subject to a lottery drawing to determine the 40 lucky participants. The department spends $10,000 on the program.

Any Greenwich resident 21 years of age or older can apply for the free twelve-week program beginning Sept. 2 and running every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through graduation on Nov. 11.

Applications can be found at town hall, the police department or online , but must be received no later than Aug. 23. Any questions on the academy should be directed to Greenwich Police Department Community Impact Section at (203) 618-8308.

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