Learn about police work (a visit to the shooting range included) | ParkRecord.com

Learn about police work (a visit to the shooting range included)

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Park City Police Department is accepting applications for its Citizen Police Academy, a program that teaches people about the inner workings of the department.

The 2010 academy will be the second one offered by the Police Department. People selected for the academy will learn about numerous aspects of police work. Some of the topics that the department plans to cover include accident investigations, domestic violence, crime scenes and arrest techniques. They will also be introduced to drug investigations and how a police officer properly pulls over a driver.

"It gives civilians the ability to come in and see what law enforcement officers do in their daily work," said Terry Knechtel, one of the police officers who leads the program.

The 2010 academy is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 5 and last until July 14. It meets weekly on Wednesdays, with a 7 p.m. start time. The sessions typically end by 9 p.m., Knechtel said. One Saturday session is planned as well to bring the participants to a shooting range to learn about the Police Department’s weaponry.

The academy is limited to 15 people per year. In 2009 the participants were a mix of men and women with diverse backgrounds, Knechtel said. An announcement posted on City Hall’s Web site indicates some of the exercises could be held outdoors in bad weather and require light physical activity.

People who apply for the program must undergo a background check. Knechtel said people must be a U.S. citizen, live in Park City or surrounding Summit County and be at least 18 years old. He said people with criminal backgrounds beyond minor traffic violations are prohibited from the academy.

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"A lot of times they ask questions like why are there several officers on a call," Knechtel said.

Applications are available on City Hall’s Web site. The address is http://www.parkcity.org . Choose the "Citizen Academy" link from the front page. Applications are due by April 10.

For more information, visit the Web site or call either Knechtel or Bob Lucking, a Police Department sergeant. The main number to the Police Department is 615-5500.