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BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The free yearly Bloomfield Citizen Police Academy is set to begin next month, with residents being encouraged to apply by January 27. The wildly successful free academy is now open to Verona and East Orange residents in addition to Montclair and Glen Ridge.
The Citizen Police Academy was created after Director of Public Safety Samuel DeMaio joined the Department in 2015, reflecting his model of community policing, where officers are part of the community for celebrations and community-building events, as well as during emergencies. The first two years, the academy was organized exclusively with Bloomfield Police personnel, and exclusively for Bloomfield residents, but in 2017, the Department partnered with Montclair, and invited Montclair residents to participate. Last year, it was opened to Glen Ridge, as well as Montclair.
The free nine-week course will cover topics such as basic Police Academy training, traffic enforcement, crime scene investigation, appropriate use of force, K-9 Units, community policing, and more. It will run every Tuesday night from February 4 to March 31 from 6:00-8:00pm at the LGI Room of Montclair High School, 100 Chestnut St, Montclair.
“The Citizen Police Academy is a fantastic program that the Bloomfield Police Department puts on every year. Any time there are opportunities for the community to engage in a positive way with our Police Officers it is a good thing. The community policing initiatives implemented by Director DeMaio has resulted in a decrease in crime and a greatly improved relationship with Bloomfield residents over the last six years,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “I am glad that East Orange and Verona will be joining us this year as we promote citizen awareness of Police protocol, while also introducing our neighboring residents and officers to one another.”
The yearly program includes exciting trips to the Essex County Police Academy. In previous years, Essex County Sheriff’s officers brought in a K-9 unit to conduct a demonstration of several different K-9’s assignments to different details such as drug sniffing or bomb sniffing.
“I would like to thank all of our Bloomfield Police officers, as well as the Montclair, Glen Ridge, East Orange and Verona Police officers who are working together with our department to conduct this outstanding training program. Additionally, I would like to thank all of the residents that have been a part of this program over the years and helped us to grow and expand it,” said Director of Public Safety Samuel DeMaio. “Anyone who has an interest in a career in law enforcement or would like to better understand the day-to-day work that Police Officers do should take part in this academy.”
Last year’s academy graduated 41 civilians, with a special reception and ceremony held to honor graduates and participating officers. All participants will receive a free shirt.
Applications must be received by January 27. To receive an application, email firstname.lastname@example.org.