Citizen Police Academy: Week 3

Citizen Police Academy

(Click the photos for a larger view.)

A CPA student examines an officer's equipment belt.

Officers enact a mock felony traffic stop.

An officer uses pepper spray to subdue the suspect.

Radar takes down a suspect.



Week 3


Patrol Functions

DUI/Sobriety Testing/Fatal Vision

Mock Traffic Stops




This week's class was far more exciting than the schedule indicated it would be. The class began with Officer Mazur describing and showing class participants the gear officers wear. The actual number of items the officers carry is surprising, but we were even more amazed by the actual weight of many of those pieces. Talk about carrying a heavy load!

Officer Mazur also described an officer's day, from initial briefing to checking his/her district to service calls to types of policing officers may choose as their specialties.


Next, Officer Schreiner discussed DUIs and sobriety testing. He described what behaviors may alert an officer to a possible DUI as well as the procedures an officer must follow once a potential DUI is pulled over. The class watched actual video footage of Gurnee officers making DUI stops, then a class member donned special "mock drunk" goggles to see field sobriety testing from an intoxicated person's point of view.

Officer Tokarz spoke next, detailing the methodology of traffic stops, including safeguards an officer takes to ensure his/her own safety. He also described the components of a felony traffic stop, after which class participants and officers donned their warmest gear to brave the bitter cold to witness a mock felony traffic stop. This was the most exciting portion of the class, as officers pretending to be perpetrators were stopped by the police. One "perpetrator" pretended to resist arrest efforts and felt the effects of pepper spray, while another "perpetrator" fled the scene and was chased down by Radar, Gurnee's canine officer. The mock traffic stop gave class participants a very good idea of how quickly something like this takes place, and the tension and adrenaline officers feel throughout.