KPD citizens' academy: Laws of arrest, accident investigation and officer safety

For the past 13 weeks, the Kirksville Police Department put on their first Citizens TM Police Academy since 1994.

And, I was one of the students enrolled and the course and had the opportunity to get an inside look of what the men and women in blue are trained to do.

The first day of class started like any other, with orientation. We made our way to City Hall and that TMs where we were issued our badge, sort of speak, and our Kirksville Citizens TM Police Academy class folders.

It TMs also where we introduced ourselves and gave the reason why we enrolled in the class.

I TMm on the fence of what I want to do, said student Abby Cordray. I am a criminal justice major so I'm thinking about law school, but there's also the potential of law enforcement."

"I just want to get an overall view of what police officers go through, said student Kirstina Imes."I was an EMT for six years, and I worked a lot with police officers, but didn't really get to see what their side of it was like."

Even though we all had different reasons for taking part, Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes had one goal for the academy.

The number one thing I would like to see is for the students to go away with an understanding of what police do and how we do it, said Chief Hughes. I think more importantly the underlying reasons on why we do some of the things we do. If they walk away with that then I think the program is a success.

After learning the history of KPD, we made our way across the street to get an inside look of the police department.

We toured the evidence and records room and got a glimpse inside the Kirksville Regional Computer Crime TMs Unit Lab.

During week two we learned about the legal side of things.

Adair County Prosecutor Matt Wilson talked to the class about laws of arrest, search and seizures.

Some people don't have a full understanding of everything that goes on, you know, the process of how decisions are both, both for charging a case and for disposing of the cases, but also understanding what their rights are, said Wilson.

Heading into week three we learned about accident investigation, speed formulas, and how officer TMs make up a diagram following an accident report.

During week four we went to Truman State University and learned about the Department of Public Safety on campus.

Week five is when the hands on participation came into play.

We were able to see first hand the different ways officers put a suspect under arrest.

Chief Hughes also brought in police equipment such as bullet resistant vests, handcuffs, guns, pepper spray and police forms to show students how each item is used properly.

To read part two of this story click here.

To read part three of this story click here.