Registration open for the free, popular St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy which starts Wed., Aug. 24; Call (504) 278-7628 or 278-7677 to register

Posted: July 12th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

 A participant in last year's Citizen's Police Academy tries on part of a Sheriff's Office bomb suit, during an equipment demonstration while in the background are bomb squad members Capt. Daniel Doucet and Sgt. Ryan Melerine.

A participant in last year’s Citizen’s Police Academy tries on part of a Sheriff’s Office bomb suit, during an equipment demonstration while in the background are bomb squad members Capt. Daniel Doucet and Sgt. Ryan Melerine.

It’s time again for the popular and free St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy, which starts Wednesday, Aug. 24, and has proven so informative and fun that many parish residents have taken it more than once, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

“Participants will learn about what police work entails in the parish and they will have the chance to ask questions to experienced officers and get frank and specific information,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“And this year we have added a class on crime prevention, which will touch on home security and personal safety.”

Parish residents can call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7626 or Dep. Sheriff Eric Eilers at (504) 278-7677 to register now for the 10-week course, which includes a graduation ceremony on Oct. 26.

This is the 18th session of the class, in which nearly 700 parish residents have attended over the years since it was started in the late 1990s.

“Our Citizens Police Academy class will answer a lot of the questions you may have about law enforcement here and why things are done the way they are.’’

Graduates, the sheriff said, become “ambassadors for law enforcement because they have a vested interest in what happens’’ in St. Bernard.

Classes will be held in the Sheriff’s Office 2nd-floor Training Center in a parish government building at 2118 Jackson Ave. in Chalmette, immediately behind the Parish Courthouse. The Assessor’s Office is in the same building.

Borchers, head of Community Relations for the Sheriff’s Office, runs the Citizens Police Academy classes with Eilers and coordinates Neighborhood Watch programs and the National Night Out Against Crime event for the department.

Anyone who wants to start a Neighborhood Watch on their street, hold a Night Out Against Crime get-together or apply for the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division should also call Borchers or Eilers.

Any resident who has attended sheriff’s lectures on how to avoid being a victim of crime would find the Citizens Police Academy another interesting learning tool, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Classes are geared to fostering good relations between the community and law enforcement.

There are numerous features to the Citizens Police Academy program which participants say they enjoy, such as:

– Hearing from sheriff’s commanders on various phases of law enforcement including patrol work, narcotics enforcement, detective duties, S.W.A.T. team demonstrations.
– Receiving boating safety tips.
– Hands-on demonstrations of equipment including weapons and a bomb robot used for checking suspicious items are also part of the program.
– A firearms simulator which asks participants to view computerized video scenarios and make split-second decisions about criminal suspects.
– Get information about the parish’s battered women’s program.
– On-site tours of Parish Prison and the Parish Courthouse.
– Lectures from law enforcement agencies from outside St. Bernard.