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      KPD citizens' academy: Evidence tracking, patrol operations and graduating with a 'badge of honor'

      After the shooting range we headed back into the classroom and learned about evidence tracking and the importance of properly storing evidence without damaging it.

      The students got a lesson on that by doing a hands-on exercise.

      They also learned the importance of chain of custody which a log that is created documenting every time a piece of evidence is handled.

      It needs to be in the same condition as it was found and that TMs where the chain of custody comes into play, said Mindy Long, Records and Evidence Custodian for the Kirksville Police Department. The officer takes the piece of evidence and puts it in a temporary locker, and then I get it and put it in the evidence room. Anyone that touches or has any hands on it, that piece of property has to be signed off on it with their signature, their initials, date and time, that way we know who has been involved.

      Then we learned about day to day patrol operations.

      Everything from how officers take calls from central dispatch to how they handle a traffic stop.

      The Negotiators came in for week 11.

      Cpl. Sara Holzmeier and Sgt. Dave Grissom spoke to the class about their duties.

      We TMre called out in conjunction with the SRT team here in Kirksville and what we do is deal with people who are threatening to commit suicide or to take somebody else TMs life, whether it be they have hostages as far as a bank robbery situation, or maybe a domestic violence where someone would take their wife and kids hostage. We would talk to the person in crisis and try to bring them out peacefully, said Cpl. Holzmeier.

      Then we learned about what type of taser TMs are issued to the police officers. It TMs a Taser X-26 model manufactured by Taser International.

      The Kirksville Police Department has used this model since 2004, said Ofc. Bill Puryear. It TMs a small hand held unit that deploys 50,000 volts of electricity to overcome somebody TMs muscular system.

      And if you were wondering yes, he TMs been tased, more than once.

      The last part of the course we learned about what a Drug Recognition Expert or D.R.E does.

      He TMs a police officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or addition to alcohol.

      Week 13 we learned about the duties of the school resource officer.

      My main goal is to keep the students and faculty on staff safe, we also counsel students dealing with all types of situations, said School Resource Officer Rich Harden.Animal Control came to class and told us about the animals he deals with on a regular basis. Let TMs just say nothing surprises him anymore.

      So, 13 weeks and more than 30 hours later we finally made it.

      And what better way to end the course than with a graduation ceremony.

      I want to congratulate them for hanging in there for 13 works. It just amazes us that there are people out there that are willing to come down and listen to us for 13 weeks, said Chief Hughes. We certainly accomplished what we wanted to and I think the student learned some things from it. I just want to commend absolutely each and every one of them for their dedication and their commitment.

      Let me be the first to say thank you to the Kirksville Police Department for putting on this program.

      And congratulations to my fellow classmates, we final made it.

      If you are interested in applying for next year TMs citizens police academy you can contact the department by clicking here.

      To read part one of this series click here.

      To read part two of this series click here.