Lisle, Illinois ~ The public has always been fascinated with police work. Television programs like “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” bring real police action into living rooms across America. Police procedurals “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans” are the most popular dramas on TV.
However, the relationship between police and citizens is generally one of “love/hate.” Citizens often complain that police go too far or do not go far enough, that there is “never one around when you need one” or that many departments employ a quota system when issuing speeding or parking tickets in their communities.
That lack of understanding has given rise to Citizen Police Academy programs designed to open the lines of communication between the police department and the community which it serves. By allowing citizens a firsthand look at what rules, regulations and policies the police follow, some of the misunderstanding may be alleviated.
The Benedictine University Police Department is conducting a Citizen’s Police Academy beginning on January 20, 2015. The academy will cover such topics as driving under the influence (DUI), traffic stops, crime prevention, common Illinois laws, crime scene processing, domestic violence, SWAT, traffic crash investigations, K9 operations and criminal investigations.
“Citizen’s Police Academies typically give participants a better understanding of some of the responsibilities of police officers, investigators and the agency itself,” said Paul Creekmore, deputy chief of the Benedictine Police Department. “They allow participants to realize that police officers wear many hats, not just a badge.
“We are enforcers, referees, counselors and mentors,” he added. “Participants often find out that writing tickets and making arrests are small percentage of what police officers actually do. Typically, we spend most of our time writing detailed reports and speaking with the public we serve.
“Citizen’s Police Academies are a great opportunity for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement.”
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.