opinion

Letter to the editor: Citizens Academy eye-opening

Posted 4/24/19

Citizens Academy eye-opening “When I became a policeman, I promised my wife I would come home at night.” Those words were shared during Westminster’s Citizens Police Academy, a 14-week, course …

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opinion

Letter to the editor: Citizens Academy eye-opening

Posted

 

“When I became a policeman, I promised my wife I would come home at night.”

Those words were shared during Westminster’s Citizens Police Academy, a 14-week, course that provides insight into the daily operations of our police department.

Those were difficult words to hear. They are a promise not easily kept: the men and women dedicated to the protection of each of us do it at their own peril.

More law enforcement officers take their own lives annually than are killed or die in duty-related accidents. Stress is inevitable and constant. The Westminster Police has a peer support division to provide support and counseling for officers. One officer remembers being pinned down with a gun in his face, thinking only that his six-month old child would not have a father.

There wasn’t a sound in the room for three hours as the lead detective recalled the intense work of local, state, and federal agencies in 2012 on Jessica Ridgeway’s murder. Seven years later, the detective is still emotional about the case.

We learned so much, and, yes, we had fun. We played SWAT teams looking for a bad guy, met the K9 team and their dogs and joined an officer for a ride-along.

At the end of the course, the words of the officer who promised his wife he would come home at night were still with us. But now, we better understand how our police department keeps Westminster citizens safe so that we, too, can come home each night.

Marilee Menard,

Westminster

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