Dear Editor:

For the last twenty-plus years, the Milpitas Police Department has held at least three Citizens Police Academy (CPA) trainings a year for the residents. The trainings go for four weeks, twice a week, for eight sessions. Each session is for three and half hours, in the evening.

Additionally, the trainings reflect the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, which states, “As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder, and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.”

 

The trainings include the following:

– Introduction/Orientation​​

– Explorer Program

– Department Tour​​

​- Investigations/Special Investigation (SIU)

– Field Evidence Collection​​

– Arrest Control

– Patrol Services​​​

– HomelessOutreach​

– Dispatch​​​

​- Police Vehicle Operations

– Field Training​​

​- Property

– K9 Program​​​

​- Bicycle Program

– Records​​​

​- Shoot/Don’t Shoot: Use of Force Simulator

– Police Community Relations​

– SWAT Team

– Run, Hide, Fight!​​

​- Town Hall Meeting with Police Chief

 

At the Academy’s last training this year, I was fortunate to be one of the students. Here are several of my takeaways:

– There are several job openings at the department. Please check the city’s website.

– For non-emergency needs, please contact 408-586-2400.

– Most of the Presenters have been with the department between ten and fifteen years, with a couple having been in the department for more than twenty years. The Department’s team members tend to stay until retirement.

​-  Aside from their primary duties, an officer can have more than one ancillary responsibility: Honor Guard, Hostage Negotiations, Polygraph Examiner, Recruiting Team, MUSD Liaison, Bicycle Patrol, Media Relations, and more.

– As members of the Homeless Outreach, it’s not unusual for Officers to help the homeless out of their own funds.

– It will take at least three to five years to have served as a volunteer of the Explorer Program before volunteers will have the opportunity to be selected to join the actual Police Academy Training Program. Selection is very competitive and only a few will make it.

– K9s live and work with their Handlers (Officers). When a K9 retires from active duty, the Handler has the option to buy the K9 for one dollar from the city. Handler and K9 are constantly in training. One of the K9s responds to commands in French.

 

Overall, I found the training to be well thought out and relevant, with a balanced selection of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and spot on timing for each topic. 

Lastly, I encourage our residents to sign up for these trainings. Personally, mine gave me great insights into the people in our Police Department. They’re dedicated, disciplined, educated, knowledgeable, and capable of keeping Milpitas safe. Most importantly, I got to know a bit of the women and men behind the uniform. After all, they are people working jobs. Every day, they just want to leave for work and return back safe to their homes, families, and loved ones. 

 

Evelyn Chua 

Milpitas Resident

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