Classes full for CR volunteer police academy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Classes full for volunteer police department

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- By day, Tim Getty is a nutritionist and Mike Shaldecker is a business man.

Mike says, "As a kid you think you want to be a fireman or a police man."

But at night they follow a childhood dream as members of the Cedar Rapids volunteer police academy.

Tim says, "I call this my volunteer job!  Once you get started it becomes addictive to see what else you can do.  We went through ten weeks of class, from three hours each week. The volunteers go through same process as officers with the exception of the physical test."

You might see volunteers patrolling in marked vehicles, but they're not paid for any of their work.  They do it give back to the community.

Tim says, "We do everything from parades to behind the scenes to sorting flood records by hand."

Mike says, "For the kid in me, the highlights were driving the patrol car!  You get to go fast and turn fast all of that and weapons training!"

But along with the fun comes some serious guidelines.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin of the Cedar Rapids Police Department says, "We run people's backgrounds because they're going to exposed to firearms and our computer system.  We have to make sure they aren't a convicted felon."

Volunteers can even choose to be tased.

Hamblin says, "I get the final say because we don't want to expose them to medical issues. It's going to be someone who has that burning desire to be tasered!  It gives them bragging rights that they got tasered without being arrested."

Mike and Tim admit the training was intense, but reap the rewards on a daily basis.

Mike says, "If you're like me, I can't donate thousands of dollars to a charity but I can donate my time.  For me this was the obvious choice. I'm much more supportive of the police department because I understand what they're doing now."

Information and applications may be obtained by contacting the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 286-5439 or c.hamblin@cedar-rapids.org.

The spring class is full, but now is a great time to inquire about the fall's course. 

The CPA meets every Wednesday, from 6:00-9:00 PM. The program is directed toward citizens who live or work in Linn County. The goal of the program is not to train citizens to be police officers, but to increase the understanding between citizens and the Police Department.

Participants gain an understanding of how the department accomplishes its mission on a daily basis.

The CPA is an informative learning process that provides an opportunity for citizens to receive 10 weeks of both classroom and field instruction regarding the various responsibilities facing our officers.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age. An investigation of an applicant's criminal history will be completed prior to acceptance into the CPA. Advance registration is required along with a $30 check/cash/money order for supplies.

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