Citizen's On Patrol

Our neighborhood has a very active neighborhood watch. That's both a good and bad thing when dealing with a neighborhood watch. It's good when there are suspicious people in the neighborhood, but it's bad when a man wants to take a leak in his back yard.

Contrary to what you might think at this point, this post isn't about the manifold joys of peeing outside. A few months back, our neighborhood watch coordinator forwarded us a press release about the Citizen's Police Academy. The Mrs. and I both thought it sounded pretty cool, so we both applied. We also both got in. So we've been spending one night a week at the Hermitage Precinct learning about the various parts of the Nashville Police Department.

On our first night, there was a slouchy looking fellow in a suit loitering around the parking lot by himself. Turns out that the fellow was none other than our esteemed mayor coming to give the welcoming speech along with Chief Serpas. I really thought the mayor would be taller.

The sessions have been very informative. We've had sessions on domestic violence, motorcycle patrol, DUI enforcement, terrorism, officer training, canine officers, horse officers, and of course the requisite recruiting presentation. We still have sessions on vice, prostitution, and gangs to come. Extra curricular activities include an officer ride-along, a trip to the gun range, observing court proceedings, and a trip to the communications call center. I spent an enjoyable Saturday morning at the gun range shooting a Glock service revolver, an AK-47, the shotgun all the officers keep in their car, and a Tommy gun. My very pregnant wife did a second shift ride along with an officer in the Hermitage Precinct, which surprisingly enough includes some pretty bad areas that I've always considered to be part of Antioch. She reported back that it was an interesting day with equal amounts excitement and boredom.

Some of the speakers are really good, and you can tell most of them really enjoy their jobs. They make it sound pretty glamorous. I have to keep reminding myself that these folks are higher up and they're speaking to us because they have cool jobs as detectives and such. They seem to have a lot more fun than the officers who have to deal with the tedious business of handling citizen calls, sheparding drunks, and keeping people from killing each other.

It's also been an eye opener as far as learning about my fellow Nashvillians. You can tell a lot by the questions they ask. There are certain people in the class that have some pretty specific agendas to pursue and others who like to tell us what great people good they are. It's amazing what you can work into the form of a question if you try. There's even at least one woman that I feel justified in calling a police groupie. She always sidles up to whatever male officer happens to be around and she likes to drop stories about how she's 'in' with other officers.

It's really amusing to me that they work very hard to stress that the class won't make you a police officer. From day one they keep hammering that at us. You have to wonder what has happened in the past to convince the legal department that it's necessary to push that at us.

It's a very informative class. The presentation of the topics is a little uneven depending on the skill of the presenter, but I recommend it for everybody. Anyone who works or lives in Davidson County is eligible. Just don't forget they check you for warrants and be sure to pay all your parking tickets before you apply.

*Every time I hear anyone say 'Citizen's Police Academy' I can't help but laugh. To me that phrase is forever linked to a certain Police Academy movie. You know, the one where Bobcat Goldthwait is converted from evil gang leader to upstanding police officer. It also features a pre-Basic Instinct Sharon Stone and was, sadly, the last one with Mahoney.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect the course would draw even more interested citizens if it weren't on the far eastern side of the county. A West Nashvillian wanting to participate needs to pack a lunch and maybe make overnight reservations.

12:16 PM, August 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, that 25-minute ride to the west side can be torturous.

12:54 PM, August 02, 2007  
Blogger Exador said...

Glock makes a revolver?

1:03 PM, August 07, 2007  
Blogger W said...

Well, a pistol. And it may not have been a Glock. I got distracted while they were talking about it.

3:30 PM, August 08, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home