The three-month Westfield Police Dept. Citizens’ Academy class ended Oct. 26 with a casual graduation ceremony at Grand Park Events Center with the members of our class and WPD staff.
During the evening, we shared laughs and listened to a presentation from Lt. Mike Seagrave. Each graduate received a certificate and a challenge coin with the WPD emblem on it. The class also presented the WPD with a gift – a shadow box featuring Current articles highlighting each course, bullet casings, a blue ribbon to symbolize the Thin Blue Line, shotgun shells, a WPD patch, an engraving, a tennis ball and the Taser cartridge that was discharged into yours truly.
I want to extend my deepest thanks to each member of the department – those who are responsible for the program as well as the officers responsible for protecting Westfield’s streets.
I would strongly encourage all citizens to consider taking this course, just to come to a better understanding of how such a functional department operates throughout the city. I eagerly took each opportunity presented to me as I was relaying my experience to all of Current’s readers, but the Citizens’ Academy instructors made sure each participant was comfortable. Participants are not required to get tased or shoot a gun to graduate.
In total, the academy was thrilling and eye-opening. It was truly enlightening to experience first-hand a tiny fraction of what officers see and do in training and then have to apply in real-life situations. If other organizations offer similar courses to provide citizens with an inside look and are interested in allowing me to experience the course as a journalist and relay it through Current articles, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.