I graduated!!!!

May 31st, 2012 at 4:42 pm by under COPS 101

It’s hard to believe that eight weeks ago this all began with an introductory course, meeting each of the officers we’d work with and learning the basics of the Terre Haute Police Department.

Alas, the end is here. We made it! It’s not like college where four years of my life is complete, but it is a nice feeling of accomplishment. That feeling isn’t mine alone though. It goes to my classmates from the Inaugural Citizen Academy, as well as the Terre Haute Police Department.

I talked with Chief John Plasse after the final week’s events. He said the academy went as well as it could have. When you launch anything for the first time, there will of course be hiccups, but as a whole, he said he was please with the course as a whole. If you ask me, I didn’t see any hiccups. I couldn’t be happier with my experience and the things I learned over the last eight weeks, and I’d venture to say my classmates feel similarly.

During our last class, there were a few more lessons we had to learn. The first was on Ethics. It’s easy to understand why this is a key part of police training. While this isn’t something they train on annually or revisit as often as the shooting range, they seem to have this instilled in their work. Their code seems to convey it, and when the topic was presented, I could tell it was something every officer took seriously. The department knows they aren’t perfect, and they do things to make sure they address their imperfections when they occur.

Understandably so, we followed the Ethics course with an explaination of how a formal complaint works. Individuals can file formal complaints with the police department if they have a problem with how an officer conducted himself or herself. An important note here is that these complaints have no bearing on current criminal charges against the person. What that means is that a person filing a claim won’t get more charges because of the complaint, but they also won’t get fewer charges. That’s only half true I guess. A person can be charged if the complaint is found to be completely false or highly exaggerated.

If a complaint is filed, it is investigated internally by the department and action is taken depending on their findings. An officer can be simply reprimanded, sent to counseling, suspended, and everywhere in between depending on what is deemed appropriate.

After our final lessons (following the last by not least mantra), we received our diplomas.  I also received a coin from the Terre Haute Police Department, presented to me by Chief John Plasse, for my extra “guts” during the course.

Diploma

After our final lessons (following the last by not least mantra), we received our diplomas.

A few quick “thank yous” from me..
To Chief John Plasse for offering this opportunity.
To Lt. Hugh Crawford for leading us fearlessly and answering our endless questions.
To all of the officers, detectives, Sgts, and guests who shared with us on Wednesday evenings.
To my fellow classmates for helping make this such an enjoyable experience.
To the two wonderful gentlemen who careful laid me on the ground mid-tasing.

Again, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! The more I reflect on the experience, I become more and more thankful for the opportunity to learn a little more about the men and women who serve and protect us right here in Terre Haute.

Thanks for following me over the past eight weeks. It’s been a great time.

Until next time.. Taser, Taser, Taser.

-Jaclyn

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