HAMPDEN, Maine — The Hampden Police Department is preparing to offer its first ever citizen police academy.
During the 12-week program, which begins April 3, participants will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays to learn the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement officers.
In an announcement about the program, Hampden police Sgt. Christian Bailey noted that there are misconceptions about law enforcement, some of which have been created by television and other forms of media.
“We hope to give the public a true perspective; doing away with some of the negative connotations associated with police work,” he said. “A greater understanding will create a stronger relationship with the public.”
The academy will cover topics related to patrol procedures, evidence collection, Taser operation, drug investigations, search and seizure and Maine laws. The Hampden Fire Department will discuss emergency medical service protocols and provide Jaws of Life demonstrations.
Participants also will tour the Penobscot Regional Communications Center and Penobscot County Jail and will have opportunities for role playing.
The academy, which is being offered at no cost to participants, is open to those who are at least 18 years old, who live, work or own a business in Hampden and who have no prior felony, or disqualifying, convictions.
To sign up for the program, pick up an application at Hampden Public Safety or the town office during business hours and submit it by March 16. For information, call Officer Marc Egan or Sgt. Christian Bailey at 862-4000.