Registration open now for the free, popular St. Bernard Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy which starts Wednesday, Aug. 26; Some 650 people have graduated since 1999

Posted: July 8th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

A large group of participants listen to Capt. Charles Borchers on the opening night of the Sheriff's Citizens Police Academy in 2014.

A large group of participants listen to Capt. Charles Borchers on the opening night of the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy in 2014.

There’s no better way to learn about law enforcement than the popular and free St. Bernard Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy starting Wednesday, Aug. 26, where participants will learn about what police work entails in the parish, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Parish residents can register now for the 10-week course which allows them to ask questions to experienced officers and learn frank and specific information, as well as give their input.

Call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7628 to register. Classes will meet each Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through graduation night in October. Borchers coordinates the class, assisted by Dep. Sheriff Eric Eilers.

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

Graduates, he 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 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.

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, Pohlmann said.

Some 650 parish residents have graduated the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy in St. Bernard since its inception in 1999.

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 and SWAT team demonstrations.
– Receiving boating safety tips.
– Experiencing a firearms simulator program which has participants react to computerized scenarios asking them to make split-second decisions on whether to shoot a criminal suspect.
– Hands-on demonstrations of equipment including the new mobile Command Post purchased with a grant, department weapons and a bomb robot used for checking suspicious items are also part of the program.
– On-site tours of Parish Prison and the Parish Courthouse.
– Lectures from law enforcement agencies from outside St. Bernard.

The classes will feature speakers from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and are geared to fostering good relations between the community and law enforcement.

This is the seventh year for the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy since sessions resumed after Hurricane Katrina, said Borchers.