This is not Law & Order.
If you have ever wondered how real police solve real crimes in Tiverton day-to-day, here's your chance. Tiverton Police are accepting applications for the fourth incarnation of its Citizens Police Academy.
Slated to begin on Mar. 6, the 12-week program is open to town residents 18 years of age or older and is an opportunity for officers and residents to build a rapport - and abolish the misconceptions popularized on crime TV.
"We try to dispel those myths and rumors that people get from TV or the Internet about law enforcement work," said Capt. Patrick Jones. "We don't solve crimes in 55 minutes - even though we try."
"We try to dispel the 'CSI' mentality," added Sgt. Daniel Raymond, the citizens academy coordinating officer.
A 13-year veteran of the Tiverton Police Department, Raymond said the citizens academy moves beyond the badge and blue pants, giving both officers and residents who participate a deeper understanding of the community.
Under Raymond's supervision, the academy started in 2010 and was so popular, the department had to organize a second session soon after. Ever since Raymond continued the program because he believes in its ability to connect officers and residents.
"It opens people's minds to the police department and how we operate," said Raymond. "It puts us in close contact with the community because we are a rural police department so you don't get to see people on a personal basis like we would on a walking beat in a city. It enables us to have up-close personal conversations with people as members of the police department."
Over the 12 sessions, Tiverton residents will explore topics such as firearms training, domestic violence, defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, traffic stops, dealing with media, radar training and sexual assault.
Participants will have the chance to engage in an interactive use of force continuum similar to what officers are exposed to in their training. The drill will challenge participants on when to use force and how much - guns, pepper spray, etc.
A printable application is attached to this article and is available at Tiverton Police headquarters on Industrial Way. There is no cost to join, but all applicants will be subjected to a background check.
The application deadline is Feb. 6 and all completed forms should be submitted via email to Sgt. Raymond at firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at police headquarters.
For more information about the Citizens Police Academy, contact Sgt. Raymond or Capt. Jones at the Tiverton Police Department at 401-625-6716.