First published in the Sept. 17 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
The South Pasadena Police Department is taking applications for its annual Citizen Police Academy, which will begin meetings on Oct. 11 and continue every Monday evening through Nov. 22.
The program is designed to educate interested residents on the role police officers have within the community and help officers learn more about the people of South Pasadena. Detective Tyler Borello, a co-coordinator of the program, said the academy serves as a great bridge between the department and the community it serves.
“We can learn from the group just as they are learning from us,” Borello said. “It provides a way for participants to learn how we operate. This is particularly important following last year with COVID and other events.”
The academy, which runs from 6-8:30 p.m., will be held at the police department, at 1422 Mission St., and will involve a variety of speakers who will talk about topics from crime analysis, patrol, forensics, use of force and traffic enforcement.
“The last group came in excited and when they left, several people said: ‘My eyes are open to the way certain things are done,’’’ Borello said. “When they see a traffic stop, they will understand better what is going on; or if there has been an accident and they see officers measuring, they will know what is going on.”
The program will be held mostly in a classroom setting, although there will be a simulation of how police may have to make split second decisions while on duty.
Knowledge and the sharing of information are the end goal of the program.
“We hope that participants will come back and pass the information along to people they know and that information gets back by word of mouth,” Borello said. “People will learn how we operate and have more knowledge of what we do.”
Every other year, the police department sponsors a teen academy, which was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The department is having to limit attendance to 12-15 participants because of health and safety concerns, and residents are urged to inquire as soon as possible if they are interested.
For more information, call Borello or co-coordinator officer Catalina Valdez at (626) 403-7284.