The first session of Citizen’s Academy kicked off on Thursday night for a new class of over 20 people.
Employees with the Aiken Department of Public Safety and previous attendees of the Citizen’s Academy spoke during introductions in the ADPS court room on Laurens Street.
People who enrolled in the course will attend classes every Thursday night until they graduate in early November. Classes will teach students of Citizen’s Academy about ADPS and aspects of police procedures, from dispatch and fire safety to policing in the 21st century.
A focus of the Citizen’s Academy revolves around transparency and erasing stereotypes, primarily from television shows where crimes are solved in a day.
“I hope that it brings light to the citizens what it is we do on a daily basis, and not what they think we do,” said Lt. Billy Cameron. “Everybody has their idea of what a police officer does in a day, but they don’t really. I mean, how many cop shows are out there?”
Other ADPS officials had similar things to say about the class.
“The thing I want people to take away from this is, we’re people, too,” said Lt. Josh Faulkner.
Thursday’s session involved a tour of the facility where different stations from ADPS departments were set up so participants could learn more about them.
A PowerPoint presentation on dispatch was given to inform the group about the demanding and often complex task of coordinating 911 calls, which can range from people asking for a phone number for the jail to people reporting gunshot wounds.
Next Thursday’s sessions will focus on officer training and the agency’s record-keeping process.