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COAST, CENTRAL, AND NORTHWEST CITIES : SEAL BEACH

May You Be With the Force

May 10, 2000|ALEX MURASHKO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In order to adopt a more community-oriented policing policy, the Police Department has announced that an educational outreach project will be launched next month.

The Citizen's Police Academy, a 10-week program, will focus on community policing, patrol and detective activities, and use of force.

The program came about after a voluntary department audit last year. Among other things, the audit suggested that the department should take further steps toward improving its relations in the community.

The department has recently stepped up its efforts to "personalize" its officers with programs such as a trading card collection contest for schoolchildren.

The first phase of Police Chief Michael Sellers' outreach program, which includes the academy, is still underway.

"We would like for the community to have an understanding of what we do," said Sgt. Robert Mullins, who is in charge of enrollment. "Also, the academy will enable us to know what the community wants from us."

"We would like to train people in the community in functions of police work and law enforcement," Mullins said. "Our goal is to have residents become ambassadors and liaisons to the department and the community."

The academy, which is offered in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Training Center at Golden West College, is open to residents and those who work in Seal Beach, are at least 18 and do not have any felony convictions. Classes begin June 6 and will be on Tuesdays, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Applications are available at the Police Department, 911 Seal Beach Blvd. Information: (562) 799-4100, Ext. 127.

Alex Murashko can be reached at (714) 966-5974.

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