Tifton Gazette

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March 26, 2014

Citizen’s Police Academy to come back May 8

TIFTON — The Tifton Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy will be surging again May 6, says Lt. Steve Hyman.

At a recent City Council workshop, Hyman said they have cut back to six weeks instead of 10 but added two Saturdays. The same topics will be covered, but by bringing in the two Saturdays, they will cover criminal investigation one Saturday and firearms the other. He provided the council with a copy of the application that will be sent out. He noted they’re already accepting applications.

The academy is free and an opportunity for citizens to learn how law enforcement in the community works. Classes will meet once a week from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays at the TPD and two Saturday mornings. Topics covered will include introduction to criminal justice, crime scene processing, internal affairs investigations, patrol procedures, Georgia criminal law, drug investigation, and the role of the judge and prosecutor in the criminal justice system.

The classes are designed to give participants a better understanding of the types of crimes in the community, the methods used by the TPD to prevent crimes, the methods used by investigators to solve crimes and a better understanding of the judicial system, says Hyman.

He said the previous classes have been so successful that an alumni association has been formed to partner and support the TPD in its ongoing effort to educate, protect and serve the citizenry.

Those interested in attending the Citizen’s Police Academy should pick up an application at the TPD. For more information, contact Major Raymond Drennon at 229-382-3132.

Hyman mentioned at the workshop that it’s their intent to get the Charles Howell Academy of Public Service (CHAPS) started in September. He said they wanted to do the Citizen’s Police Academy first because it’s been a while since they’ve done one.

Additionally, Utilities Manager Donna Pate discussed the James E. Dove Memorial Scholarship. The city of Tifton Natural Gas Department annually awards scholarships in honor of the first Natural Gas superintendent, James E. Dove. She told the council they have received numerous applications, and are in the process of reading through them.

When Vice Mayor Johnny Terrell asked how students apply, Pate explained that a representative  with the guidance office at Tift County High School coordinates it.

The applicants present a scholarship application, short biography about themselves and many of them give references and their SAT scores. They also have to disclose whether they’ve applied for and been accepted to a college.

“We try to look at the overall student — the well-rounded one that helps in the community, the one who would be best served by this scholarship money,” Pate.

They generally pick two Tift County High School seniors who are looking to further their education. They’re awarded $1,000 each.

Also during the workshop, City Clerk Rona Martin gave an update on the board report. She said there’s some interest in the Keep Tift Beautiful Board. Cater appointed James J. Lever to the Tifton Housing Authority. Shedra Miller and Arthur Pettiford were also appointed.

At the conclusion of the workshop, Cater commented on the legislation of citizens being able to bring a firearm into a city meeting and other public places. He said he would be concerned about City Council meetings and workshops, as well as the Planning and Zoning meetings, which he noted can get “pretty hot."

He told the audience, “It looks like they’re going to vote for it.”

He told the audience that those who could have any influence should ask elected officials to reconsider.

“I just think it’s a scary thing,” he said.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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