Waterford Police Start Citizens Academy

12-Week Program Costs Taxpayers No Money

The is now accepting applications for its 20-person, 12-week citizen police academy, where officers volunteer their time to “give citizens a better understanding of what police officers do every day.”

“We see this as a win-win,” Police Officer and Representative Town Meeting member Marc Balestracci said. “We don’t see any downfall with this.”

The police union, in conjunction with the department, agreed to do the program for no cost, Balestracci said. All officers who help teach a class will not be paid for their time, he said.

“I was worried some of the guys wouldn’t want to do it,” said Balestracci, who organized the academy. “But I didn’t get a single no.”

What The Class Includes

The academy holds 20 people, and meets for three hours once a week for 12 weeks, beginning on March 8. There is no cost to attend the academy, and all applicants must either live or work in Waterford.

“We are looking for a good mix from the community,” Balestracci said. “Maybe will get some people who are interested in a career in law enforcement, but older and middle-aged people as well.”

The program covers most aspects of police work, including a Taser demonstration, and courses on criminal investigations, police profiling and crime in Waterford. All people who attend are required to do a three-hour ride-a-long with a police officer.

“For some, that will be a big benefit, for others not so much,” Balestracci said. “We can take you on a weekend night that will be busier, or a Sunday morning that won’t be so busy. But it is totally safe.”

The academy will be held at the police department. To graduate, participants can’t miss more than three classes, Balestracci said.

Mark D. Wiggins February 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
This sounds like a great program. An educated public is a police forces greatest asset. Bravo Zulu to the officers for volunteering their time. Once again, Waterford leads the pack.
Heartsvette February 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM
The Waterford Police Department, is once again encouraging it's citizens to become actively involved in their community. The CERT classes offered through the Police Department 2 years ago, were organized, and extremely informative. I am proud to see the Waterford Police Department fostering, and encouraging residents to become more aware of their surroundings. Knowledge is a powerful motivator. Thank you to the Officers willing to volunteer their time.
Marc Balestracci February 20, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Applications are still available. You can get them at the front window of the police department or print from the Waterford Police website and send them in. There is no fee, the academy is free. http://waterfordpolice.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=312&Itemid=1
Cara Walz-Burton February 23, 2012 at 10:50 PM
It sounds interesting! It gives people an insight as to what police officers really do on the job instead of wondering! Most cops get a bad rap for doing their job ie. tickets, etc. so I'm curious as to what else happens! And... I dont eat donuts!!


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