April 21, 2018
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Houlton ‘police academy’ drawing participants

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — Residents have only a short time left to sign up for an initiative that will give participants an up-close look at what it is like to be a police officer.

Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin said earlier this week that approximately 10 people have signed up to participate in the Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy starting April 8.

This is the first time the program has been offered in Houlton.

“We have seen some interest from the community and I am certain that we will have many more signed up by the time we teach the first class,” said Asselin. “We are very excited about it.”

The program will accommodate 30 participants and cover such topics as highway safety, seat belt awareness, juvenile correction, investigation, dispatching and much more.

The courses will be taught by volunteers such as Asselin, HPD officers and other law enforcement personnel.

Some will be from outside agencies such as the Maine State Police.

The chief said he hopes to see part of the program dedicated to students operating a golf cart around traffic cones while wearing Fatal Vision goggles. The goggles simulate what it is like to drive while under the influence of intoxicants.

Asselin said his officers are eager for the program to begin.

“My officers have been working hard on this, and they have put a lot of work into this in order to make this a great learning experience for the community,” he said. “They continue to put things together for the academy.”

Classes will be held Wednesday evenings for 10 weeks.

A background check will be conducted on all applicants, and those with felony convictions or an extensive criminal history will not be accepted.

Registrations will be accepted until April 1.

To sign up for the academy, visit www.houltonpolice.com or stop by the police station.

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