By Polly Keary, Editor
In Monroe, once it a year, it’s possible to take a police car and joyride it around a parking lot and get in absolutely no trouble at all.
The Monroe Police Department is inviting people who want a taste of life in law enforcement to sign up for the annual Citizens’ Academy, an eight-week course that affords attendees the opportunity to sample the skills needed for a career on the police force.
“It takes you into every department we have; K9, a tour of the prison and the jail, going to the dispatch center in Everett, shooting guns, driving cars, and a training simulator,” said police spokesperson Deb Willis. “It’s really some fun things, and it’s always a popular event.”
The class, which is free, is held once a week on Thursdays, as well as on three Saturdays.
Each three-hour session is lead by a Monroe police officer or other personnel, each of whom are experts in the topic of the day.
Topics covered will include Special Emergency Response Teams, K-9 Teams, identity theft, internet safety, domestic violence, use of force, major crimes, investigations, narcotics, and more.
Participants will also experience a training scenario, in which they will fire simulated rounds, drive a car through an Emergency Vehicle Operation Course and go on a ride-along with an officer on patrol.
The goal, said Willis, is to improve people’s understanding of the job of law enforcement, and it’s been popular with city council members, she noted.
“It’s a good way to get to know the police department and learn why we do things,” she said.
There are about 10 spaces left in the class, which will begin Sept. 5. A background check is required to take the course.
To participate, call the Monroe Police Department at (360) 794-6300.