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Published November 8th, 2023
Lafayette's Citizens' Police Academy graduates recognized
The ceremony finished with a group photo of graduates taken with Lafayette City Council members, Crime Prevention Commissioner Judy Peterson, and Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt. Photo courtesy City of Lafayette

Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt introduced Lafayette's Citizens' Police Academy graduates - 11 from Fall 2022, and 12 from Spring 2023 - at the Oct. 23 city council meeting. The fall graduating class was the first class back since COVID-19 put the program on hiatus.
People enrolled in the Citizens' Police Academy spend a night with Chief Alldritt, and nights with traffic patrol, the crime scene investigative team, and go through simulated scenarios while learning what tools on a police officer's belt are best used in each situation. A day on the department's firing range has them learning about firearm safety.
The Citizens' Police Academy is not intended to certify a participant as a police officer. Hands-on experiences and lectures delivered by police officers and city staff are designed to make the sessions both informative and enjoyable. Questions and suggestions for how services are enforced or might be improved are welcomed. Participants must be at least 21 years old, a resident or employee in Lafayette, and willing to undergo a cursory background check, including not having been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor in the past year.
The participants give of their time during five to seven sessions to learn what police officers do, Alldritt said. "I appreciate the investment community members make to do that."
"We just want to honor them," he added. "The goal is to pull back the curtain and explain why we do what we do, talk about where we all come from."
Judy Peterson (along with Denise Brown, who was unable to attend the ceremony) are on the Crime Prevention Commission that leads the organization and logistics of the academy. In his closing remarks, Alldritt said although the program is a lot of work for the department to put on, the feedback about the law enforcement services provided to the community is always valuable and rewarding to receive.
The department will be hosting a Spring 2024 academy he encouraged interested Lafayette citizens to sign up for and attend. He noted that the graduating classes included four couples, indirectly suggesting it is an activity enjoyed by spouses or life partners.
The Academy takes place on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. In addition to programs involving field visits, the programs are held at the Library and at various criminal justice sites throughout the county. The firearms session is optional and is conducted on Saturdays at the range in Clayton. The academy is offered at no cost and each graduating class is limited to 18 participants.
As the liaison to the public safety commission, Council Member Wei-Tai Kwok thanked graduates for taking the extra time to observe the police department and encouraged them to recruit other people who might enjoy the program.
For more information, contact Commissioner Denise Brown at cpcdenise@gmail.com or Cathy Surges-Moscato at csurges@lovelafayette.org. To apply, fill out the application form (www.lovelafayette.org/home/showpublisheddocument/5738/636856772935200000) and bring the signed form to the Lafayette Police Department for processing.

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