Want to discover firsthand what it takes to be a police officer, get to know your beat officer and learn more about criminal investigation? Find out by signing up for the Sugar Land Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy and learn about traffic laws, crime scene investigation and how the Safe Light Sugar Land program has resulted in a 15 percent reduction in red light violations.
The 10-week course begins Feb. 28. Students meet once a week from 7-10 p.m., including weekend courses that include firearm simulations, mock building searches and simulated traffic stops.
While learning about the challenges faced by police officers, laws affecting citizens, the judicial system and emergency management, participants personally interact with officers, detectives and other personnel in a nontraditional law enforcement setting.
The training program consists of classroom and “hands-on” instruction designed to provide interested Sugar Land citizens with a working knowledge of the Sugar Land Police Department, its personnel and emergency management operations.
Topics taught during the academy include the following:
* USE OF FORCE / WEAPONS: Students are given instruction concerning the legal use of weapons.
* FIREARM SIMULATIONS: Students participate in a “Shoot – Don’t Shoot” scenario by utilizing the electronic firearms training system.
* TRAFFIC LAWS AND DWI INVESTIGATIONS: Traffic laws and procedures are discussed with emphasis on the most common traffic offenses.
* SAFE LIGHT SUGAR LAND: The use of red light cameras to improve safety at heavily travelled intersections is discussed.
* BUILDING SEARCH/TRAFFIC STOPS: Students participate in exercises that simulate traffic stops and dangerous citizen interactions.
* CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS: Texas laws and penalties are discussed, with an emphasis on criteria for assaults, burglaries, robberies and thefts.
* TELECOMMUNICATIONS/EOC: A public safety dispatcher will explain radio procedures and their role to support police, fire and emergency medical services.
* CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: A crime scene investigator discusses the collection and preservation of evidence.
* TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The class tours the TDCJ Jester Prison Unit. Students visit most areas and learn about how the Texas prison system works.
* CRIME VICTIM LIAISON: The police department’s crime victim liaison discusses the process that victims go through and the programs available for victims.
The class is offered free of charge to Sugar Land residents and people who work in Sugar Land. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 10.
For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/policeacademy or register online at volunteer.sugarlandtx.gov.