More than 30 local residents now have a better understanding of law enforcement operations due to completing Mount Airy’s Citizens Police Academy.
The 2013 class of the academy was recognized during last Thursday’s meeting of the city commissioners, when its members received diplomas.
They include 26 citizens from all walks of life along with six members of the Mount Airy Police Department Explorers, a youth group.
The academy spanned 10 weeks, representing about 35 hours of instruction designed to give participants a behind-the-scenes look at investigations, training, crisis management and additional operations. One of the highlights, based on graduates’ feedback, was a ride-along with patrol officers to witness what they encounter on the streets.
Class members said they gained a new understanding of the job police perform in protecting society. Meanwhile, department officials say in addition to that awareness, the annual academy allows officers to enhance their rapport with the community, which can pay dividends later.
Listed alphabetically, 2013 class members include Thelma Allen, Jenny Anderson, Brenda Barfield, Jane L. Bell, Arlene Crotts, Wesley Crotts, Barbara F. Fields, Alton A. Gaither II, Janice E. Gaither, Mary W. Gardner, Gail H. Hiatt, Eric Hodges, Anita N. John, Lanny Johnson, Ray C. Lambert Jr., Danny Ledford, Mary Ruth Lewis, Van McCoy, Bettsee McPhail, Jim Petelle, Lindsey S. Stiefel, Richard T. Stiefel, Jerry D. Taylor, Ann L. Vaughn, Selbert M. Wood and Melissa H. Wyatt.
Explorers members who completed the class were Bethany Freeman, Jodie Beketov, Vanessa Armenta, Ross Hiatt, Austin Wood and Isaiah Freeman.
With the graduation of the latest Citizens Police Academy, nearly 300 people have completed the program during its 13 years of existence.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.