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Wanted by the Police: Citizens for Academy

September 04, 1998|STEVE CARNEY

For anyone who ever wanted to grow up to be a police officer--but didn't--Newport Beach is offering a risk-free glimpse of what you missed.

The department is starting a 12-week Citizens Police Academy on Sept. 23.

Participants can learn the ins and outs of the judicial process, watch a drug dog at work, try their reflexes on the firing range and strap on 25 pounds of gear to walk up to the driver of a car they've stopped, "while he may or may not be hollering at them."

"We'll get people a better look at what we're doing on a day-to-day basis," Police Sgt. Mike McDermott said.

Officials said they hope some of the academy participants will become interested enough in the department to join its new volunteer program.

McDermott said volunteers will perform home security and vacation checks, give safety lectures, position the radar trailer that shows motorists when they're speeding and do other jobs.

"I think we're filling a need, and I think we're going to get some real value for the Police Department out of it," McDermott said.

Anyone who lives or works in Newport Beach, and has never been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor, is eligible to attend the academy, pending approval by the chief of police. Information: (949) 644-3662.

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