The City of Sweetwater held its first Citizens Law Enforcement Academy last Tuesday, after taking a hiatus for a couple of years.

The purpose of the event is to help educate citizens about basic police procedures and laws.

This 10 week class has already begun and will no longer be accepting applications to join.

The first day of the citizens academy focused more on a classroom-type learning environment to introduce the attendees to basic police knowledge before becoming a more hands-on learning environment in the following weeks.

“It covers everything from our basic computer program, reports that we do, the warrants that we do, and the actual paper work that we do,” said Sweetwater Police Department Public Information Officer Suzanne Ward.

The later classes will consist more of how the legal system works as well as how the officers respond to different situations.

“They are going to talk about when we go out on patrol and some of the responsibilities we have while out on patrol,” Ward said. “They are also going to do actual scenarios with vehicle stops.”

Several members of the class will portray officers performing a routine traffic stop, while other officers play the role of the person being pulled over.

“It is to show them what can happen and what to look for,” Ward said.

Members from Child Protective Services will also appear before the class to educate them on situations that are both stressful and harmful to children who are caught up in bad situations.

“A member of Child Protective Services will come in and talk about things that happen in the community and problems associated with dysfunctional families and what could happen with children,” Ward said.

Another planned class is for the detectives to speak about how they approach situations as well as set up a crime scene for students to learn how to collect evidence.

Other speakers that are planned for the class include a member of the 10th Judicial District Attorney’s office and a judge to help the students understand how the legal system works.

The remaining events will consist of tours, along with gun operation and safety.

“One of the nights we are going to go over and tour the new Justice Center and the 911 center,” Ward said. “Another thing that we are going to do is go over the basics of fire arms and fire arm safety.”

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