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Orange County Focus

BUENA PARK : Police Offer Classes on Law Enforcement

March 26, 1994|DEBRA CANO

Residents who want to know more about law enforcement now have a chance to meet Police Department employees and learn how they fight crime.

The Buena Park Police Department is launching a Citizen Police Academy next month for residents and people who work in the city.

"The purpose is to let people know what we do, what police work is all about," said police spokesman Sgt. Robert R. Chaney Jr.

The first session begins April 6 and will be held on Wednesdays for 10 weeks from 7 to 10 p.m. in the training room of the Police Department, 6650 Beach Blvd.

The academy, offered at no charge, is not designed to prepare people to become police officers but is intended to heighten understanding and awareness about the Police Department, said Police Chief Richard M. Tefank.

"I think it's important that the community understand what the Police Department does on a day-to-day basis and who the people are who provide the service to them," Tefank said.

Chaney said often people know police work only from what they watch on television. "But there are a lot of things that go on that people aren't aware of," he said.

Conversely, the academy will help the Police Department get a better understanding of how residents feel about police, Chaney said. The exchange will assist the department in making improvements to enhance public safety and service, he said.

Chaney said the department will offer three academy sessions a year. Each 10-week session will be limited to 30 participants, 21 years and older.

Participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The second session is scheduled to start in September.

For security reasons, participants will be fingerprinted and must agree to a background check. Those with outstanding warrants or pending court cases are not eligible for the academy.

Academy teachers will be personnel from the department, including patrol officers, detectives and dispatchers. Among areas that will be discussed are narcotics, traffic patrol, dispatch operations, weapons used by police, crime lab, SWAT and K-9 teams. Participants will also go on a ride-along with officers.

For more information about the Citizen Police Academy, call the department's community relations bureau at (714) 562-3993.

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