Consider taking citizens academy at police department

Police departments all over the country are offering eight-week citizens police academies to educate people on the daily jobs of our police. Too many people have very distorted opinions on what our officers do. I had the privilege to attend the eight-week academy this spring. What an eye-opening and amazing experience.
We learned how detectives process evidence, we saw Zeus the K-9 unit in action, we learned about our SWAT team trained in special weapons and tactics. We got to do a “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” training exercise that allows you to experience the effects of a potential deadly force encounter and a ride along with an officer.
So when the next academy is offered, I highly recommend taking it.
Some people are so quick to judge and criticize our police officers. Well, as the saying goes, until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you have no clue what they really go through. There are many times when our officers have a split second to make a decision. Now that is stressful.
Thank you to all the men and women who make up our Elk River Police Department and to everyone who organized this amazing opportunity for 12 of us class attendees. Thank you for being willing every day to get up and put on your uniform to keep us safe. That is something we all take for granted.
I, for one, am very happy for the purchase of the MRAP or Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. Our Police Department leaders know what equipment their department needs. We are living in a very different world today. We hope and pray that a terrible event does not happen in our city, but they can happen anywhere. Look at Boston, the airport in Florida and San Bernardino. These are not someone’s imagination, and the people who live in these places did not think the events that occurred in their city would happen in their city.
We are truly a very blessed community to have the police force we have. May God bless our city and our police force. — Wade Lovelette, Elk River