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November 25, 2009 > Life as a Law Enforcement Officer

Life as a Law Enforcement Officer

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By courtesy of Diana Allen

Law Enforcement Officer's work is admired and honored for maintaining public order and protecting lives and property. But what is it really like to walk in their shoes? Citizen Academy and C.A.R.E. allow participants to understand law enforcement and police culture. C.A.R.E. is an established volunteer unit of the Fremont Police Department and the Citizen Academy is a class held twice a year for Fremont citizens.

C.A.R.E. volunteers work in uniforms on the street patrolling in marked police vehicles, watching for and reporting crimes. "They also run our car seat installation program, our community blood drives, and help with many special events," said Community Service Officer and one of the C.A.R.E coordinators, Diana Allen. Monthly meetings are held at the police department on the third Wednesday of the month 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. for C.A.R.E. volunteers who have gone through the 60 hour training and are current C.A.R.E. volunteers. "We hope to start recruiting for a new class soon, which involves Wednesday nights and a few Saturdays for a couple months for training," said Allen. Those interested in this program may contact her at (510) 790 6800 ext. 2775.

The Citizen Academy provides community members with an up close and personal look at police work and the Fremont Police Department. The academy also builds partnerships between police and community members by allowing citizens to participate in practical police training and education. It is designed to inform citizens about police policies and procedures, and foster community support, awareness and safety. The twelve-week, 44-hour academy, meets one night a week and is limited to 25 students. It does not train citizens to be future police officers.

Participants learn about topics such as police selection and training, internal investigations, criminal law, patrol operations, communications, crime prevention, crime analysis, firearms training, critical incidents, narcotics, gangs, traffic enforcement and much more. Besides attending lecture presentations, academy attendees may participate in role-playing exercises that simulate actual police situations. This training emphasizes the importance of split-second analysis and decision-making during critical arrest and use of force situations. Participants also have an opportunity get to ride along with an on-duty police officer to experience their job duties. This builds a better understanding of the police role among the community members as they experience the complexities and potential dangers of the job.

Applications are available online for Spring 2010 session. The class is free and open to residents over 18 years of age, who live or work in Fremont. Participants must commit to 11 of the 12 classes. In order to get the full benefit of the experience, it is important to be present for all phases.

Citizen Police Academy and C.A.R.E. Program
Fremont Police Department
2000 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 790-6800

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