Citizen’s Police Academy session opens for 15thth session; Participants say they joined to learn more about their parish; Call 278-7628 to still register

Posted: August 30th, 2013 | Filed under: Announcements, In the Community, News Releases, SBSO News

Capt. Charles Borchers talks to the new class of Citizens Police Academy on opening night.

Capt. Charles Borchers talks to the new class of Citizens Police Academy on opening night.

Maj. David DiMaggio, discusses the emphasis on training for sheriff's deputies.

Maj. David DiMaggio, discusses the emphasis on training for sheriff’s deputies.

Rick and Mona Bei, Dawn Peterson and Christina Anderson, all St. Bernard residents, had more or less the same reason for joining the new session of the Sheriff’s Citizen’s Police Academy which opened Aug. 28: they wanted to know more about their parish.

Peterson said, “I have a background in legal studies and I was interested in how the parish works’’ and thought taking the course on St. Bernard law enforcement would give her some insights.

Anderson said, “I thought it would be something to get involved in in the community.’’ She added that because of the Sheriff’s Office aspect to it, “my son is excited I’m doing this. He is eight.’’

Rick Bei, now retired from Entergy, said as long-time residents, he and his wife “were interested in taking something like this.’’ Mona Bei added, “We wanted to see how things work’’ in St. Bernard.
Along with the other 30 participants who signed up for the latest free Sheriff’s Citizen’s Police Academy session, they will meet Sheriff James Pohlmann, hear from Sheriff’s Office ranking officers on what it means to do police work in the parish, tour Parish Prison, receive safety tips and take part in a firearms simulator that asks them to make split-second decisions on whether, as an officer, they would be justified to use lethal force on a criminal suspect.

More than 600 parish residents have gone through the 10-week course that involves meetings on Wednesday nights, with a graduation ceremony in early November. The sessions have been available in St. Bernard since 1999.

Any parish resident who would like to still register for the course that just started can call Capt. Charles Borchers at 504-278-7628. Sessions are held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, in the Sheriff’s Training Center on the 2nd-floor of a parish building at 2118 Jackson Blvd. in Chalmette, immediately behind the parish Courthouse which is on West St. Bernard Highway. The Assessor’s Office is in the same building.

Borchers, who operates Citizens Police Academy, can also be called if anyone wants to start a Neighborhood Watch program on their street, if they are interested in being considered for the sheriff’s Reserve Division or to receive information about the Night Out Against Crime celebration coming up in October.

Borchers told the latest group on opening night that they may be surprised at the professional level of the Sheriff’s Office, with well-trained officers and up-to-date equipment.

He said all but one of the sheriff’s top command staff, including Sheriff Pohlmann, are graduates of the FBI National Training Academy.

Borchers, on opening night, also took the group through the selection process of how sheriff’s deputies are hired.

Maj. David DiMaggio, head of training for the department, also spoke on the increased emphasis on training since Sheriff Pohlmann took office a year ago.