Home > Journalism, News, Television, Uncategorized > Joining the academy….not in that way…

Joining the academy….not in that way…

…so I spent my Monday in the confines of the Denton Police Department’s training center. I was not there for a press conference or an interview for a story or anything like that. I sat among 19 other citizens of Denton as members of the latest class of the Citizen’s Police Academy. It’s a 12-week, once a month class designed to give people some insight as to the inner workings of the local police department. With public perception seemingly so negative these days when it comes to law enforcement, it’s an effort to give people a real look at just what goes on in the working lives of police officers.


My name plate for the Citizen Police Academy. It was obviously not labeled properly so I had to fix that.

My interest in the class was part work, part personal interests. I have been covering the police beat for the past several months, since Megan Gray’s unceremonious exit from the newsroom. When I heard the class was starting up again with a new bunch, I immediately sought entry. I figured it would let me see things I had not seen as a reporter as well as getting a chance to meet some of the other officers I do not deal with on a daily basis as I do with Ryan Grelle, Shane Kizer and Orlando Hinojosa. I figured there may be some inspiration for future story ideas as well. I have a personal interest in knowing a bit more about the police as well since outside of work, I have not always had the most fun run ins with them on the streets of Denton. I was stopped roughly seven times in the year of 2015 alone. I tried to approach it with as much of an open mind as possible and not assume anything even with the experiences I have had in my work run ins with the Denton PD.

The first class was pretty simple, Kizer lead the class. We received a welcome from Chief Lee Howell, were introduced to Hino, given an over view of the program, chose a president of the class and got a tour of the police department. I have seen some of the officers before as I have been at the police department for various story assignments. I had not been in the dispatchers’ room before. That was interesting to see what their job consisted of as well as seeing the complicated bank of monitors that each of them has to keep track of when people call in with emergencies. Some of the questions from John Q. Citizen during the tour actually proved to be interesting. Very few causes to roll one’s eyes.

The tour was pretty much the class for the evening with a promise of more interesting things to see and be a part of down the line. Remains to be seen if they are as awesome as advertised.

I have not had any grand epiphany on things or anything that drastically changed my view on police, at least not yet. Who knows if they is coming or not. But I am definitely interested in seeing what the class holds for us.

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