Local Citizen Police Academies Focus On Education And Safety

Posted at 7:13 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 20:33:14-04

When it comes to citizen police academies, Franklin Police put the safety of the their residents at the forefront of their focus. 

“We put a lot of care into making sure that the citizens that go through this program with us stay safe, we want them to have a fun and enjoyable experience, and it’s our job to make sure that they do, and that they go back home safe," Lt. Charles Warner of the Franklin Police Department, said. 

The goal of the program is to give residents of Franklin an inside look at how police operate, and give them real world police experience side-by-side with local officers. 

"They're getting a view of what it's like to be a police officer," Officer Ryan Schuman, coordinator of the citizens police academy, said. 

While much of the academy focuses on behind-the-scenes work, residents are also taught about dangerous situations police officers encounter, many of which involved guns and other weapons. 

Due to a focus on safety, no usable guns are ever used in citizen police academy scenario-based training, and that standard is the same for police officers when they train.

"We want to make sure that a real gun is not ever introduced into a scenario based training event," Warner said. 

Instead of using real guns, the department uses reproduction guns that feel like the real thing, but don't have the capability of firing ammunition. 

The absence of guns from training removes a lot of the risk, and keeps tragic events from happening.

On Tuesday night in Florida, a 73-year-old woman was shot during a training exercise at a citizen police academy when an officer used a gun he though was filled with blanks, and shot the woman with live ammunition. 

While policing has obvious risks, when it comes to policing and training, Franklin Police say safety is always the priority.