Northwest NEWS

December 14, 1998

Front Page

Citizens Academy gives public inside view of police work

disposal robot

Detective Steve Kometz and robot, "Leroy," demonstrate bomb disposal for participants in the Police Citizens Academy.
Photo by Tom Traeger.

by Tom Traeger

   There was a graduation in Kenmore last week, but without caps and gowns. It was the culminating activity and awarding of certificates to 30 residents of Kenmore, Shoreline, and Woodinville who completed the King County Police-sponsored Citizens Academy.

   The Academy was initiated by King County Sheriff Dave Reichert three years ago in an attempt "to build a partnership in understanding and cooperation between police and community in the important work of public safety."

   In awarding certificates to the participants, Reichert said, "We cannot do the job of community policing alone. You, the community, are vital, and we hope through this academy, each of you will better understand how you can partner with us in this effort."

   In the thirteen three-hour sessions, Academy participants heard from police department personnel on various topics, including domestic violence, gangs, drug enforcement, fraud and forgery, homicide and special assault, search and rescue, and bomb disposal.

   The intensive process to become a police officer was also covered. It included an overview of the screening that takes place, various mental and physical proficiency tests that are required, as well as the rigorous training required.

   Participants had hands-on experiences on field trips that gave them a close-up view of police training and work On a visit to the Regional Training Center in Burien, each person was placed in a firearms simulated situation which required an immediate response to crime sequences on screen.

   Northshore teacher Bob DeLange said, "It gives you a real appreciation of the situations police on the street can face at any time."

   The Citizens Academy roster included Darlene Bothell of Kingsgate, assistant to Louise Miller; Richard Lynch, Woodinville resident; Dawn Pickard, Woodinville administrative assistant; Sandra Steffler, Woodinville town clerk; and Jeannie Yi, Woodinville, staff accountant.