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:
Officers Ben Bozer, Jeff Hauptman and Kirk Helgesen began with an overview of the duties and responsibilities of Gurnee patrol officers. The patrol function is considered the “epicenter” of our agency. All other divisions; administration, communications, investigations, records; exist to support the patrol officer and his or her mission.
Each officer works a 12 hour shift. The shift begins with a 15 minute briefing recapping the activities of the past day as well as any items affecting the current shift. The officers stressed that no day is ever “routine” while conducting patrol.
There are two forms of calls officers respond to; service calls from the public and those that are “officer initiated.” Calls from the public include everything imaginable that people call the police about. Officer initiated calls include traffic enforcement, extra patrols, investigating things they observe that may be out of place, court appearances, training, follow-up investigations, etc.
During the second hour Officer Brian Carey presented information on the visitor oriented policing (VOP) concept. Department command applies the VOP concept to geographic areas within our community that attract and cater to a visitor population. There are officers whose regular “beat” assignment is Gurnee Mills (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year) and Great America, allowing the officers to become intimately familiar with each venue. This approach is rooted in community policing strategies. Community policing has consistently been proven effective at keeping crime and disorder to a minimum.
Officers partner with security staff members on all types of complaints; lost children or property, disorderly behavior, safety hazards, retail theft, etc. When not handling calls, officers provide a visible presence within each facility by interacting with the public while on foot patrol.
Officer JR Nauseda, assisted by Officer Kirk Helgesen, presented a highly informative session on DUI/drugged drivers. Officer Nauseda reminded the class that the legal limit for intoxication is still .08 in Illinois, and that the first DUI arrest is a “class A misdemeanor,” which means it’s an actual crime, not just a “regular” traffic ticket. A typical DUI arrest costs a defendant around $15,000 and loss of their driving privileges for at least 3 months.
A highlight of this hour was class participation in a field sobriety test demonstration. Specialized goggles were worn to simulate the effect of alcohol or drugs. Students learned that they could barely stand up while wearing the goggles much less successfully perform the tests.
Finally, the class went outdoors to watch a “felony stop” demonstration. Felony stops are conducted when officers possess specific information that vehicle occupants have committed, or are about to commit, a felony-level crime. Felony stops are coordinated with numerous officers and police vehicles. The emphasis is to safely contain, then remove vehicle occupants while protecting the public, offenders, and police personnel at and near the scene.
Next week (03/24/16) students will be exposed to arrest procedures, use of force parameters, and defensive tactics.
Deb (and husband Tim) Dineen – current CPA Alumni Association Board Secretary