The Civic Scene: Residents have chance to see police first-hand

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The Citizens’ Police...

By Bob Harris

Bill Buzzone, a member of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association and a resident of Fresh Meadows attended the Citizens Police academy two years ago and is now active in the Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association Inc.

The Citizens’ Police Academy was created several years ago to foster understanding of and participation with the New York Police Department. The logo on the bottom of the Alumna Association stationery is “Understanding Through Knowledge.” The Community Affairs Officers of each precinct encourage people to attend the Citizens’ Police Academy classes held several times during the year.

The classes meet at the regular NYPD Police Academy. Participants meet at the local precinct, the 107th Precinct in the case of Fresh Meadows, and are taken by bus to the classes. Participants do some of the actual things the police recruits do, so people can understand what the police have been taught and the situations they face on patrol.

Buzzone said he participated in role-playing of the situations police officers must face daily, particularly handling domestic violence. He learned why a car-stop can be one of the most dangerous things a police officer can face because the driver might have a gun in the car.

Our neighbor participated in firearms simulations; in real life an officer has to make a split-second decision whether or not to shoot. In another class the citizens rode along with a patrol car for several hours. Then there were classes about the law and all the rules an officer must follow.

Buzzone is vice president of the Queens South (our area) Alumni Association. He coordinates transportation at meetings and works with the Queens South Command on community matters. The alumni group takes trips to such places as Rikers Island, the NYPD facilities at Floyd Bennett Field, and listens to guest speakers at their monthly meetings.

The purpose of all this is to increase citizen participation with the NYPD, exchange ideas about which police activities work and don’t work, and strengthen links between the NYPD and the community.

Call your local precinct if you want to participate in the Citizens' Police Academy. The Community Affairs officers at the 107th Precinct are Detective Lou Mango and P.O. Amie Aprea. The direct phone number is 969-5973.


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Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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