Skyline College Administration of Justice student Willard Osibin recently graduated from the South San Francisco Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy which began on August 2, 2018 and ended on October 25, 2018. The class met from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings.
The Citizens’ Police Academy is a 12-week academy that is offered by law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area. It is designed to familiarize local community members with the functions and services of their police departments and to provide an opportunity for people to become better acquainted with the women and men who wear the badge.
The academy is limited to 25 local community members who are at least 18 years old and have no felony convictions. They experience classroom instruction on laws and procedures, investigations, use-of-force issues, SWAT and K-9 demonstrations, and even a field trip to the county jail in Redwood City. Attendees tour the police agency, meet the Chief of Police, go on ride-alongs, fire weapons on the police pistol range, and role play various scenarios involving car stops, arrests, disturbances, etc.
For many attendees, it is a real “eye-opener”, because up until now they have only been exposed to television, movie, and media portrayals of police work. The Citizens’ Police Academy gives community residents a more accurate account of the real nature and challenges of policing.
“It was a very informative and exciting experience”, said Will Osibin. “But I had a bit of an advantage over the other attendees from what I previously learned in my AJ classes at Skyline College. I would highly recommend this academy to others! I have a better understanding of things now.”
South San Francisco’s Citizens’ Police Academy also offers a version designed specifically for their Spanish speaking community, too.
In the photograph, Will Osibin proudly displays his Citizens’ Police Academy “Certificate of Completion”, while flanked by SSFPD Corporal Matthew O’Connor (left) and Chief of Police Jeffrey Azzopardi (Right).
Article by Steve Aurilio, Professor of Administration of Justice | Photo by the South San Francisco Police Department