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Citizen’s Police Academy

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.13.2010

I had never even heard of one until yesterday, then when I Googled it I saw one for Santa Clara California residents that seems pretty neat. I tried to find one for San Jose but no luck, so I emailed the San Jose Police Department to ask about one.

(I wonder why the SJPD website didn’t have a link to the Citizen’s Police Academy? I saw some news pages saying that San Jose did have one, so why isn’t it on the website?)

It’s kind of scary emailing a police department. And I felt a little silly saying I’m a novelist, but hopefully there aren’t SO many engineers in San Jose that the SJPD understands that us weird artistic types live here, too.

So now I’m waiting for them to email me back. I hope the timing is right so that I could take it this summer or something like that.

I think that taking it would help me write my romantic suspense novels better. Usually crime involves the police, right? And often cops or ex-cops are good heroes in romantic suspenses.

Do you have a Citizen’s Police Academy in your area? Anyone been to one of them? What’s it like?

Comments

  1. I took the one we had here. They didn't teach how to be cops. Instead, we learned what cops do and how citizens can be the extra set of eyes cops need to catch the bad guys. We learned a lot of interesting information, much of which I already knew because I've been a journalist for so many years. But I did learn a few new things. Each week, they brought in a different speaker from a different department. It really was informative. We had a good turn out, too, which I thought was very positive. If you really want to know what cops do, a citizen's academy is a good place to start.

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  2. Way cool. I had no idea. It makes me think of Castle (novelist shadows cop for upcoming book).

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  3. Ours was similar to LuAnn, but we were able to shoot the officers guns-a rifle and a glock. The rifle I was used to, the glock was nerve wracking. We also got to do a ride-along. That's scary, as you are in the midst of whatever they come upon.
    Then our Police put on an advanced seminar, and we learned more specific information on doing an investigation and additional depts. we didn't learn in the first one. I'd recommend it to everyone. It give you a sobering respect for what the Police to for us citizens everyday. 99% of the officers were very professional and approachable. There were a few that grated on me with their attitude. Go for it. You'll definitely be glad you did.

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  4. You are so brave! I have never heard of such a thing!

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  5. I've never heard of such a thing before, but it sounds really interesting! I'd love to read about your experience if you are able to do it.

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  6. LuAnn and Linda, thanks so much! That sounds exactly what I'd like! I just want to understand the police department and how things work, I don't really want to learn how to be a cop. I'm very happy being a novelist! :)
    Camy

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  7. Sounds like an adventure waiting to happen. Hope you can get into one quickly.

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  8. Camy, in Ohio a former cop named Lee Hofland (I'll have to check his name but he's a FB friend) has not only an academy for novelists but has a book with Writer's Digest specifically to help novelists with technical things that go along with suspense writing, etc.

    I met him at the Midwest Writers Workshop and he's just the best. I've not gone to the conference for writers but I've heard it's good.

    However, I would bet most police academies for citizens where you identified yourself as a novelist would be happy to help you out. (And get it right!)

    My son went to a career camp for state police when he was in HS as he was thinking of this as a career and while he had fun, it was pretty tough! (Ha) And he learned tons. The police dog waking them at 3 AM and running them out on the street to push police cars was quite the memory for him.

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  9. Yeah, I'd like to go to his Writers Police Academy but can't swing it this year, and I have his book too.

    That's pretty cool about your son! Sounds like Basic Training.

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