Police academy grad encourages others to enroll

Last week, I had the good fortune of completing the Hinsdale Citizen’s Police Academy. Officer Karen Kowal, who was the primary instructor, guided the class through the 10-session, once-a-week evening program that gave us a “soup to nuts” look at the day-to-day challenges of being a law enforcement officer.

While the course is not intended to land us a job on the force, almost every matter that a police officer could face each day was covered by members of the department, from the police chief to the newest members of the department, in fascinating detail.

For many of us, the most impactful part of the program had to be when we were given opportunities to test our responses to role play situations such as traffic stop encounters or computer simulations related to hypothetical 911 calls in which lives might be at risk.

When you experience a glimpse of what police officers may face today, you realize how much you value and count on levelheaded, well-trained and competent police men and women to make split-second decisions to protect our community.

Having had a taste of our village’s Citizens Police Academy, I feel that we are privileged to have such a fine department in our town. Next time the village offers this program, I highly recommend it as time well spent. — Richard Ciccarone, Hinsdale