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Sandy Journal

Sandy Police Department Annual Citizen’s Academy Underway

May 05, 2016 02:37PM ● By Stacy Nielsen

By Stacy Nielsen |      

Sandy - The Sandy Police Department holds a Citizen’s Academy for residents and business owners to experience the roles and duties of a police officer once a year and it’s currently underway. Those who are attending this year’s 11-week course started on March 31 and the training will run through June 9.

Classes started off with and an introduction to law enforcement and cover topics from search and seizure law to defensive tactics, police and k-9 training, firearms training, domestic disputes, vehicle operations and more.; classes are both instructional and interactive allowing participants to experience what police work is all about. The last class coming up on June 2 is all centered around a “Day in the Life” of an officer and participants will graduate on June 9.

Sargent Dean Carriger is the Administrative Officer for the Sandy Police Department and is in charge of this year’s academy; Sargent Carriger has been in law enforcement for about 27 years and one of Sandy’s Training Officer’s Curtis Robertson also has a primary role in this year’s academy.

“It’s a multi-prong aspect for one to build bridges with the community, allow people that may have skepticism about police to actually come in and experience things first hand, to learn and understand why police are doing those things that they see, that maybe they think is so horrible. That they can learn why they’re doing them and realize there is a logical and lawful reason for those actions,” Carriger said. 

“This is the first group that we’ve had, that I can remember, a lot of citizens. it’s exciting to see the number of citizen’s that put in (for the academy) themselves and are here,” Sandy Police Chief Kevin Thacker said during class introductions, also explaining that other classes that have been held were by invitation by the chief or for spouses of law enforcement officers. 

Those in attendance include City Councilwoman Maren Barker of District 2 and Council Office Director Mike Applegarth amongst about 25 other participants. 

“I find the best way to know what’s going on in the community is to go meet the cops in the area,” Christopher Edgar said, a resident who moved to Sandy about two and half years ago when asked what he is expecting to get out of the citizen’s academy. 

“Also having family in the force, you always wonder what they are going through on a daily basis, I think some of it is to help reduce my anxiety level, understanding what they are going through…my brother-in-law, who was a Captain, we always had a thing where he would take me around to do drive arounds with him, and that unfortunately never happened,” Edgar said after sharing that his brother-in-law died unexpectedly due to cancer. “For me, this is also about trying to remember him and reconnect with him.”

Meanwhile, first time academy participant Bruce Hansen, who goes by the name of Gunner, is a church service missionary and security officer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“I deal with bad guys, or prospective bad guys, as they are all children of God, so our take is not law enforcement, it’s security. We try to (de-escalate) everything the best we can, this training is going to help me do that better, it’s really why I am here,” Gunner said. 

Each participant in the class was asked why they are there and what they hope to get out of it and they will be able to take home a DVD with the before and after interviews from the academy.

“I do feel it’s the responsibility of us as citizens to really understand what is really going on…I think it’s unfair that the police in general get a fairly bad rap and most of the good work they do usually goes unnoticed, so I am interested to see what kind of good work is going on,” Edgar said.