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As I sat through the opening remarks of my first class, I started to question my sanity.

Jay Taylor has lived in Bloomington for more than 35 years, but grew up on the east coast. Growing up in a small town in New York, Taylor's father served as a city council member and the police commissioner. As a police commissioner his father provided oversight of the police department, but was not an employee. His father commonly served as a liaison between the council and the police department, Taylor noted.

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For the Langstraats, the presentations helped reinforce that their decision to move to Bloomington five years ago was a good one. The department's commitment to public safety "makes you feel like you're part of a safe community," Justin said.

A police academy for people like us

Nike Uptempo Release Date

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Kevin Graf has lived in Bloomington for 17 years. With the last of his children finishing high school this past year, Graf decided he could commit to 10 Thursday evenings and experience a program he had heard about through previous discussions with friends.

Graf and Scoville said that they've become more aware of what's happening in their neighborhood and the city as a result of their exposure to the department. "It increases your awareness," Graf said.

Nike Uptempo Release Date

Nike Uptempo Release Date

thing or two about police work. Decades later Taylor found himself with an opportunity to learn more about 21st Century police work.

I've somewhat walked in their shoes now that I've gone through the course," Graf said.

of them had audio visual components that helped liven up the presentations.

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I enrolled in the academy out of a genuine interest in learning more about how the police department operates, but I also knew it would provide information that I could use for a future series of articles about functions within the department that we don't see very often.

Last fall I attended the Bloomington Police Department's annual citizens' academy. It's a 10 week program that introduces many facets of the police department to people like me, people who have little familiarity with the ways and means of law enforcement. Most of my classmates were Bloomington residents, but the program is also open to people who live elsewhere but work in Bloomington.

The department's personnel are passionate about what they do, according to Jennifer, who said that the academy gave her a personal connection to the police department.

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The academy is offered once per year, and has been going on for several years now. Nike Uptempo Release Date The time and effort put into it was evident from the weekly presentations, which featured many guest speakers over the span of 10 weeks.

Diana Scoville is a recent retiree who has lived in Bloomington for 22 years. Her interest in an inside look at the functions of the police department were motivated in part by her leisure reading. She reads murder mysteries and enjoys the forensic aspects of the stories.

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Our class met for three hours most Thursday nights from mid September through mid November. During the first minutes of our first night the thought of sitting through three hours of presentations week after week was weighing heavily upon me.

Taylor, 70, said that had he participated in such a program in his younger days he would have been inspired to become more involved in crime prevention as a civilian.

It was that same word of mouth that led Justin and Jennifer Langstraat to the academy. Younger than most of their classmates, the couple has lived in Bloomington for five years and learned about the academy at their National Night Out block party.

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I meet with a representative of the police department on a weekly basis, but I had never seen the inside of the city's dispatch center or rode along with an officer during a patrol shift. I can now check both of those things off the bucket list.

"All of the speakers we had were really great speakers," Scoville said.

I was surprised to find how quickly the time passed each week.

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Others in my class had different motivations for enrolling in the academy.

And how did his knowledge of small town policing compare with the experience as a member of the citizens' academy? "Five hundred percent different," he said.

Growing up with a father who served as a police commissioner, Taylor learned a Nike Air More Uptempo Mens Shoe

What I soon came to learn, however, was that our 10 week course included several hands on experiences and a variety of demonstrations that made for a much livelier class than I had envisioned. And when subjects didn't lend themselves to live demonstrations, most Nike More Uptempo Replica

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