Citizens Academy rescheduled, will begin in April

Published 2:26 pm Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jemison Police Department’s planned Citizens Academy has been rescheduled to begin April 12.

The academy was scheduled to begin March 8, but the death of Officer Josh Newman on March 5 and the events that followed forced the postponement of the Academy.

Still, Jemison Police officials said they expect much participation when the academy does get underway.

“We had several signed up before,” Deputy Chief Marc McMinn said. “We’re expecting a lot again. It’s going to be a good thing.”

The dates are the only things that will change about the academy, which will include 10 weeks of training over a one-year period.

Classes will start at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Jemison Municipal Complex courtroom.

Topics covered will include: patrol operations and policy, understanding citations, accident investigation, vehicle inspection, use of force, firearm safety, narcotic investigation, evidence collection and traffic stops.

Special demonstrations will include: a facility tour, mock crime scenes, Chilton County Jail tour, K-9 demonstration, a Taser demonstration, a visit to a firing range, and possibly the opportunity to ride along with officers on patrol.

Instructors will include Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer, Deputy McMinn and other Jemison officers, plus an Alabama state trooper, local judges, the jail warden and others.

Fulmer stressed to The Clanton Advertiser in an initial interview that every instructor is affiliated with Chilton County law enforcement in some way.

The idea isn’t to teach participants how to do everything—that would take a more extensive course—but rather what is going on during police activity and why officers do the things they do.

“We’re excited about it, being able to do this with the general public,” Fulmer said in February.

Participants will also have the opportunity to share thoughts they have about JPD.

“We want feedback from the public,” Fulmer said.

Class size will be limited to 20 people, and slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those interested should pick up an application at the Municipal Complex during business hours.

Applicants should be at least 18 years old and without a criminal background.

At least eight classes will have to be attended for a participant to graduate from the academy.

At the end of the course, graduates will be declared academy alumni, and Fulmer said there is even the possibility an alumni group could be formed that would assist Jemison officers with their work, such as providing a presence at sporting events.