Citizen Police Academy and Neighborhood Watch?


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police academyGeorge Zimmerman has sort of soiled the sheets when it comes to Citizen Police activities.  Zimmerman has been an abject lesson to all of  how not to participate in community safety programs.  “Get a gun, go out on a dark, rainy night and attack or confront anyone you have never seen in your neighborhood.”  “Then verbally assault them when you are alone and then pull your gun after you are being beat senseless and kill the unarmed victim!”

Since Zimmerman, has come a variety of very bad situations, starting with the Kelly Thomas event in Fullerton, California.  The death of Kelly Thomas served as an example of how to kill someone without using a firearm.  You sit on them, stop their breathing for over three minutes and they go into a coma and are taken to the nearby Emergency Hospital and die several days later.  This concept started sweeping our nation.  Three to six 280 lb Officers, tazing, pepper spraying and sitting on so-called non-compliant perpetrators of various unconvincing crimes.  Selling, single cigarettes on the street for example.  Giving a cop some lip when the cop kicks his legs to stop blocking the sidewalk.  Walking in the center of a residential street and being screamed at by an angry police officer.   Police officers that just don’t like the way someone looks.  Officers, being upset at home and bringing their nastiness to the streets.  Lack of appreciation by the citizens of the tough, dangerous and scary work the police have to do – every day on the streets of America.  Officers, not living in the neighborhoods they patrol.  Officers, being paid middle class wages, having to deal with either upper class 1%ers or self described – low class bums on the streets.

The citizens around the country, that have families, friends and neighbors they care about are in a quandry as to how to deal with both high crime rates and police brutality.  These incidents which have come to a head in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City are only the tip of the iceberg.  These incidents go on, day in and day out – everywhere in the United States.  Just try driving through Texas, Michigan, Missouri or Arkanas with California license plates.  You will be pulled over.  The Highway Patrol or State Troopers will interrogate you and may or may not either ticket, abuse or arrest you on the smallest provocation.  These folks are there to create revenue for their communities, pay their salaries and expand their police force through increased revenue.

Today neighborhoods around the country are joining hands and coming together.  They create their own Community Watch programs.  They look out for each other and when police arrive at the neighbors house, the cell phone camera is slapped on immediately.  In the minority neighborhoods, these cell phone cameras, seem to be their only defense.  Men, women, children can all be victims or perpetrators and the cell phone camera, seems to be their only defense – after the fact.  After serious injury, serious crimes or false imprisionment many of these neighbors come forward with their camera evidence.  Others, immediately call their local television station or News outlet and let them know they have some salacious evidence that might be worthy of the nightly news – for a price of course.  Everyone has become aware of “the paparazzi event” of news gathering that seems so popular today.

Perhaps, we should all go back to the basics.  Here are some questions you might ask in your community:  Do you have a Citizen Police Academy in your City, Township, Village or Municipality?  If not, why not?  A Citizen Police Academy should be required by anyone wishing to Carry a Firearm on their person within the prior three years.  For those not familiar, a Citizen Police Academy is usually a six to eight week course – meeting once a week for 4 to 5 hours and introduces regular citizens to the workings and fundamentals of what police face every day on the streets.  This could include: Understanding the current array of street drugs and how to recognize them.  Firearm training and familiarization with pistol and assault firearms used by officers in your neighborhood.  You get to meet the SWAT team, Patrol Officers, Supervisors and the Chief of Police.  You do a “Ride along!” which puts you in the seat of the Patrol car and you quickly understand how dangerous that job is….on a daily basis.  Having more than a passing aquaintance with your local Police is an important part of citizenship.  There is little doubt, that if New York City, Ferguson, Missouri or Fullerton, California has a Citizens Police Academy – it might be well for them to expand their programs.

The graduates of the Citizens Police Academy could then volunteer for duty as Community Watch Commanders or Watch participants.  They could coordinate the necessary prioritized issues vs the parochial interests of their community when it comes to policing and educating all to the various needs and dangers within their communities.  Keeping people aware of the current “clear and present dangers” should be the prime directive.  Whether that includes:  Drug dealers, gang activity, burglary, family brutality or any other issues which affects the entire community.  Communication is the prime ingredient in all Neighborhood Watch Programs and this requires a sworn officer that coordinates such activities and passes on key community concerns to the Chief of Police, the City Council and the Mayor!

Will a Citizens Police Academy and a full effort for Citizens Neighborhood Watch Programs solve all the divisions and questions within our society?  No one solution can solve complicated social-economic and societal issues, but it certainly will do no harm.  Baby steps comes to mind – but in this particular situation;  This might better be characterized as a Giant Baby Step to Community Involvment and Coordination between our Citizens and our Police and Public Safety Officials.  We are proud to say, that we graduated from the Newport Beach Citizens Police Academy Class #7, several years ago and it has been a great awakening regarding those that protect and serve our community – at least in our minds!  We  would encourage everyone to take the time to experience the same thing that we did and keep involved deeply in yourown community!  George Zimmerman, had not attended a Citizens Police Academy – but if he had, he would have had a partner to back him up on the night he took Trayvon Martin’s life.  It is up to the various Communities and Police Departments in this country to allocate the necessary resources to involve themselves in both Citizen Police Academy and Neighborhood Watch programs that are effective and growing every day.  The Welcome Wagon should be offered to all new neighbors and family members who have not experienced what it takes to protect our society.

Citizen Police Academy and Neighborhood Watch!


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.