Gurnee Citizen Police Academy

The Gurnee Citizen Police Academy is a 36-hour block of instruction designed to give the public a working knowledge of the practices, policies, and procedures governing the police department. The instruction consists of twelve 3-hour blocks conducted on a weekly basis. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character with no felony convictions.

Classes are held each Thursday evening from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Anyone interested in attending the 12 week FREE course can obtain an application by contacting Deputy Chief Saundra Campbell at (847) 599-7050 or via email.

Class #27 started on March 3rd, 2016. For the following 13 weeks students in the class shared the duty of writing an article about each class and their experiences. Their writings are below:

Week #2

Apr 29, 2017, 16:58 PM
Week 2 of Gurnee CPA Class #27 was held on March 10th, 2016 and was all about the 911 communications center. The class was led by Wendy Mann, Joe Zak, and Jason Shirkey who all work as civilian communications operators in the Gurnee 911 center.

Wendy started out by explaining the hiring process and qualifications needed to apply for the position. There are fourteen 911 dispatchers each of which work 12 hour shifts. If anyone thinks this is some sort of secretarial position they’d better think again. The position requires the ability to multitask at an exceedingly high level; taking calls, monitoring numerous radios and computer screens as well as walk-in traffic by the public and officers. They’re expected to do it all in a calm, efficient, and professional manner.

Joe Zak was the next speaker. He showed photos of the previous police facility when it was flooded by the Des Plaines River. Joe took us visually through the current facility and explained all of the monitoring that they do. He explained all the different computer screens and how they assist the 911 dispatchers. An interesting fact is that the 911 center is designed to function for 2 full hours if the entire building was engulfed in flames. The 911 center also serves as the security hub for the entire police facility.

The last speaker for the evening was Jason Shirkey who taught about emergency medical dispatch. The 911 dispatchers can offer aid in almost 3 dozen medical emergency scenarios. From child birth to heart attacks, they’re all trained to provide guidance to callers until paramedics arrive at the scene. Whatever the emergency, by the time police or fire arrive on scene; the lifeline in the form of a skilled 911 operator has been your true first responder.

The evening concluded with a tour of the 911 center.

Next week (03/17/16) students will explore patrol functions as they relate to Gurnee Mills and Six Flags, DUI sobriety testing, felony stops, etc.

Gordon Hannan, current Vice President, CPA Alumni Association