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 #9

Apr 29, 2017, 17:08 PM

This week (April 28, 2016) the Citizens Police Academy learned all about the records division and drug paraphernalia.

Records: Heather Collins is one of the five employees within the records division. Heather is actually a CPA graduate. After attending the course several years ago, she decided she wanted to join the Gurnee police team! Heather was recognized as the Civilian of the Year by the police department in 2013.

Each person in records train for 6-12 months as there is much to learn, and there is continual learning throughout ones career. There are over 50,000 case files in the office; covering a time span of 2010 to today. Because of this high number the division is transitioning to a paperless/electronic filing system.

Records is responsible for all the departments data entry needs; police reports, traffic citations, traffic crash reports, arrests, parking citations, just to name a few. Records personnel process Freedom of Information Act requests and are responsible for Uniform Crime reporting to both the Illinois State Police and FBI. They’re also responsible to provide a high level of customer service both on the phone and in person.

Needless to say, the records division provide necessary and vital services not only to the police department, but to the entire community. Gurnee is fortunate to have such dedicated people in the records division. Thank you to Heather for sharing a piece of her world with us, and thank you to all the records division personnel.

Drug Paraphernalia: The Gurnee police department is very fortunate to have Officer Darren Baker. His dedication and passion to educate, especially the young, on the dangers of drug addiction is inspiring! He made it clear that all people on drugs are not bad people, sharing sobering stories to illustrate this point.

He talked about how young people become addicted from prescription drugs, e.g. Oxycodone and Hydrocodone (which can be even more addictive than heroin and given by MD's for pain) to street drugs. Legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana was discussed and debated at length.

Heroin overdose and the use of anti-opiate antidote Narcan was also discussed. Recently the Chicago Tribune reported on the front page that “Lali's Law” was moving to the U.S. House floor on the very day of our meeting with Officer Baker. The law is named after a student at Stevenson High School who died from an overdose of heroin. His family started an organization targeting substance abuse and overdose awareness and advocacy. The new law intends to allow pharmacists to distribute Narcan to people who do not have a prescription for it.

Week #10 will concentrate on community service officers and the departments canine unit.

Joyce King and Sharon Ward (Alumni of CPA 2014)