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Letter to Editor: Citizen's Police Academy wows resident


December 18, 2013
Did you know that your Milton Police Department offers free classes to citizens? I was lucky enough to see an email blast in late summer offering "Citizen's Police Academy" to residents, and signed up for the eight-week course. It concluded last week, and I highly recommend it to all citizens.

The course covers such topics as DUI, SWAT, fire, crime scene analysis, K9 and domestic violence. Highlights of the course included a field trip to Sharp Shooters of Roswell, where class participants were able to shoot several police guns and learn additional safety and shooting tips on participants' own guns. I would never have had the opportunity to shoot an automatic weapon without this course. Another highlight was Taser. Three brave class members offered to be Tasered while the class observed. I'm glad I didn't volunteer for that.

Class members were also offered the opportunity to ride with a police officer for four hours during a regular shift. I rode with Officer Scott Mulvey. He was gracious, informative, professional and demonstrated both police equipment and techniques to me during the course of our ride. I witnessed Officer Mulvey issuing citations and making sure that the individuals understood the infractions and how to deal with them in a calm and professional manner. While no one likes to get a ticket, it is certainly helpful when the issuing officer helps you understand what the problem is and how to resolve it. Thank you, Officer Mulvey.

While all the information learned during class was valuable, the most important thing is the opportunity to interact with members of the force in a friendly and fun environment. Police Chief Deborah Harrell is to be commended for leading a department full of such professional officers. Officer Ara Baronian is the community outreach officer that led the course and he is approachable, charismatic and engaging. He is a great asset to the community. Other officers that took time, frequently out of their personal schedules, to speak to our class were Capt. Shawn McCarty, Lt. John Borsey, Sgt. James Hickerson, Lt. Chad Taylor, Sgt. Andrew Phillips, Officer Christopher Ward (with Canine Officer Brinko), Lt. Charles Barstow, Lt. Romney Scott, Capt. John Huey, Officer Rudolph Cabral, Lt. Travis Parker and Sgt. Jason Griffin. These guys were terrific. They were knowledgeable and really shared thoughts from their side of the badge. I thank each one of them for their service to our community.

I should also mention that one of the classes included a visit from a group from the Milton Fire Department. They demonstrated the use of their ladder truck and offered invaluable information as well. I sleep better knowing these guys are on the job, ready to respond to emergencies in my city of Milton.

Citizen's Police Academy is offered annually (funded by our own Target Superstore at 13055 Ga. 9, Milton). I highly encourage you to take this class. Officer Ara Baronian will be conducting the class again next fall. Sign up for city of Milton email news by going to cityofmiltonga.us and entering your email address in the e-newsletter sign up on the left-hand side of the screen. As soon as dates are available for the course, you will see it published in a newsletter.

JANET WILLIS

Milton

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