our first two weeks of Citizen's Police Academy

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Matt and I had signed up for the Citizen's Police Academy in our town, and we got "accepted" (I think the bar was very low).  I put the initials C.P.A. from 7-9 on Wednesdays on my work Outlook calendar, which my boss has access to.  I have some out of town meetings this week, and I didn't request a hotel room for Wednesday night.  The administrative assistant who handles hotel reservations emailed me and my boss last week and said "I just want to confirm that Laura doesn't need a room for Wednesday night."

My boss emailed me and said, "I'll let you respond to Maryedna's email, but I assume you don't need a room because I see on your calendar you have a meeting with your CPA that night."

Yes. 

Or a meeting of the Citizen's Police Academy.

I was afraid we would be the only people there.

I was wrong.  There are 35 people in our class, and there are even other young couples just like us. 

Three minutes into our first class I began mentally drafting my resignation letter to my boss in order to pursue my newly realized dream of becoming a police officer. The dream last approximately four minutes until they told us the physical requirements for women in my age bracket.

Oh Laura Darling, OUT.


I managed to enjoy the rest of the class, despite accepting the fact that I would be a paralegal forever, and we learned all sorts of things.  We live in a fairly large suburb outside of Philadelphia and I learned that our police department is the second largest in the county, with 96 officers. 

We also learned that the busiest hours for police here is from 12 pm to 9 pm.  I always assumed that the busiest time is the middle of the night due to all of the burglaries and kidnappings, but apparently that doesn't really happen here.

All I legitimately have to fear at night is my shower caddy.


The officer teaching the class asked us if we'd ever had to call the police out to our homes, and what were the qualities that we appreciated in the responding officers?

There were many stories of medical emergencies, car break-ins, fires, etc.  Matt was dying for me to raise my hand and tell everyone about the time I called the police because a wire in our yard was hanging low, and the police came out just to tell me that Verizon was doing work on their lines in our neighborhood.

It was an embarrassing experience, but I did appreciate the quality that the officers DID NOT MAKE ME FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT.

We got a behind the scenes tour of the police station this past Wednesday, our third wedding anniversary.  If you told me on March 8, 2014, while I ate fancy food and wore the most beautiful gown and rode in a limousine and felt like I was living a fairy tale that I'd spend March 8, 2017 touring the local police station FOR FUN, I wouldn't have believed you.

But there we were, in the cell block, at the fingerprint station, and touring the mugshot setup, which was admittedly very interesting.

I did struggle to keep my composure in the cell block though because the officer was telling us about career criminals.  And he kept using the word "burgle" as a verb.  As in "We do run into some career criminals.  They get out of jail and go right back to burgling.  That's just what they do.  They burgle."

I was literally biting my lip not to laugh.

I've since googled the word "burgle" and learned that while burglarize is the more commonly accepted term in the US of A, burgle is not technically incorrect. 

This week was also the week where Matt decided to share his law enforcement knowledge with the rest of the class.  He kept a low profile the first week, but didn't hold back this week.  I half expected the lieutenant to give him a taser and an honorary badge on our way out.

The officer asked the two times when people are most likely to run from cops. Matt knew: when they are being handcuffed, and when they are being taken out of the car at the station. 

He asked the one time when a juvenile can be kept in a jail cell.  Matt knew: when they are being charged as an adult for their crime.

He asked the names of the police officers assigned to the local high school AND MATT KNEW THEIR NAMES EVEN THOUGH HE HASN'T BEEN IN HIGH SCHOOL IN A DECADE.

We have class again this Wednesday and it's all about K-9 units.  It will all be news to me, but it won't surprise me at all if Matt already knows some of the commands.

Comments

Lux G. said…
Wow. That's impressive. Good job!
When my husband and I were interns at the Arizona State Senate (before we were married) the state Department of Corrections sponsored a tour for the interns at one of the biggest prisons in the state. That particular prison ranges from low security (actual tents outside that the inmates live in) to max security (a very creepy circular tower thing with the guard station in the center). They let us walk through everything, like actually through the tents where some inmates were sleeping. They let us sit in the chair used for lethal injections, if we wanted to (I did not). Our guide was a prison guard who wore reflector shades like in "Cool Hand Luke" and I think was trying to recruit us to work for the Department of Corrections. I found the whole thing so depressing it haunted me for days. It still haunts me, actually.

Needless to say, I did not pursue a career in corrections. My husband, however, is a criminal attorney and regularly visits those sorts of prisons to meet clients. He's even been to Attica, a place that even he, who is obviously not too sensitive to the environment anymore, found unsettling.
Do they have CPA classes everywhere?! I'm so curious about this now!
Michelle said…
I've been anxiously awaiting this! This is too funny. I think I would've enjoyed the tour too! Real question: what is the point of the whole class? Is it to get a better understanding of the police department, or do you actually wind up with some kind of certificate or something? This is so fascinating to me.
rooth said…
LOL oh Matt - star pupil that one
Amie said…
It sounds like they have a great CPA program there! I think it's interesting they have different testing requirements for males/females and also depending on age. Here at our department the testing requirements are the same for everyone. I think you will find the K-9 night interesting and also if they have a SWAT night that should be really good too!! I love that your boss thought you were seeing a CPA!
I know a blogger who's husband did this and I've wanted to do it ever since! It's definitely something I'll look into once my husband leaves the Army! I don't know if I'd be able to focus while learning about the K9 units, i'd be too excited by the idea of meeting one of the dogs, lol :)
Marie said…
I had no idea that they have CPA, that is pretty neat. Matt is an A+ pupil. I wouldn't have know any of that. My friend's husband is a police officer and he has some great stories. The elderly ladies love him because he is so patient with them.
I cannot believe so many people are signed up for this. Or that Matt still knows the high school officer names. LOL
This is very cool! Maybe Matt can share some of his knowledge with you for the next class, ha ha.
Erica Ashley said…
This sounds SO cool!! What a great experience!! Girl go for it!! Police away!! Those are some pretty hard standards to meet physically! My fiance is in the Army and when I found out what i would have to do if I joined, I thanked him for his service and decided being an Army wife was more suitable for me haha
Victoria said…
So....Is it just a way for citizens and police officers to build relationships with one another? I know a lot of departments are trying to find ways to help police officers become faces IN the community rather than just a badge OVER the community they serve. I've never heard of these kinds of classes, but I think it sounds like "fun"!!! I'm just curious WHY they have them.

As always, you made reading about the whole thing so interesting!

Matt never ceases to surprise us ALL. How DOES he know these things?!?!
Sorry about the let down of realizing you don't want to do it, but you know, that's how the journey goes sometimes! You'd never have known unless you tried! :) XO - Alexandra

Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
Nadine Lynn said…
This sounds like so much fun!!! I had to laugh at the Laura out for the physical requirement because I would be right there with you. I can do sit ups and push ups but dont ask me to run a mile and put a time stamp on it!!! I would have thought that they would be busy in the middle of the night too.
Rebecca Jo said…
Look at Matt! He's shooting for that scratch & sniff sticker!
I'd be trying to burgle a dog from the K9 unit!
Audrey Louise said…
This class sounds kind of awesome... I mean, aside from the physical requirements. Lol. It's neat that you get some behind the scenes tours and information. What made you guys sign up for the class? What can you do once you've completed the academy?
This is hilarious and the class sounds amazing, but I think my favorite part is that you put it on your work calendar and then let your boss believe you had a meeting with a CPA. Ha!
Emily said…
Too funny about your boss thinking you had a meeting with your CPA! Tax season is stressful but this CPA sounds intense. Glad you made it out alive! lol
Bahaha, they would TOTALLY lose me with the push ups and running. Yah nope.

I would have totally loved a behind the scenes tour of the police station.. or anything where I couldn't usually go, really.. Let's be honest, I'm probably just a nosey person.

I feel like Matt is going to get a promotion to town deputy or something come week 3 :P
Sarah said…
Please keep me updated about every detail of this course. I love this peek into your highly exciting Wednesday life.
Jane Davidson said…
WOW! What an experience! That sounds so so interesting! I didn't know any of that.
Betsy said…
This sounds so interesting. I wouldn't be able to achieve any of those requirements either!
Kayla MKOY said…
13 push ups??! BAH! I'm lucky to do 3 in a row. This sounds awesome. Also, was this just for fun!? I didn't realize this was a thing?! I'm strangely kind of interested in it! ;)