Their job is to protect and serve. But what is it really like to be a police officer in the Metro? I had the chance to find out, completing the Citizens Police Academy, a 12-week course any of us can take for free. And it was an eye opener.
"The knowledge they get from attending this will give them a new insight to what our jobs are. Why we do the things we do and how we do them," said Oklahoma City Police Lt., Pat Pollman.
One night at the firearms training facility showed me just how dangerous an officers' job can be. We witnessed K-9 unit scenario, saw how the tactical unit responds to stand offs and even watched officers blow things up.
A lot of the course was spent inside the classroom. We learned about laws of arrest, officer safety techniques and what it takes to investigate anything from a drug case to a fatal wreck. Not only was I impressed, my classmates also learned more than they expected.
"It's very interesting," Mel Hollis said. "We found out a lot of things about the police department we did not know and it's a lot deeper than what people would think."
The 12-week training period seems kind of excessive. He should have went to the Bethany Citizens Police Training Academy instead. It's a one week course where they just teach you how to harass teenagers, write speeding tickets and botch high-profile criminal investigations. Coincidentally, it's also the same training they provide to their regular police officers.
Anyway, I hope sending news anchors to things like this is a new trend. It serves the public well. Plus, who wouldn't want to watch Paul Folger spend a week as a volunteer firefighter, or see Emily Sutton and Joleen Chaney train to become lifeguards. That would be must see TV.