SPECIAL REPORT: Citizen’s Police Academy Part II 

Once we learned the basics of how to make an arrest, we became the police department.”You’re going to have three scenarios today. One will be a suicidal male subject, one will be a domestic violence call, and the third will be a wanted out call,” said Sgt. Scott Wilcox with the Orono Police Department.We were put in pairs, one person became the contact, the other the cover. Then it was off to work.”You gotta think if you shoot, this could end their life so you don’t want to make a mistake and kill an innocent person which is very important. You need to make sure there’s a reason, a good reason,” said Criminal Justice student Zach Caron.Even though we knew everything was a drill, the experience seemed all too real. “Once you’re in there, you’re like it’s all right, I can do this. You just have to take control and be confident in yourself to know what you’e doing,” said Criminal Justice student Jess Poulin.The role playing tests your reactions and judgment. One of the important things you learn about is the fourth amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.”Get a little bit more understanding of what to do and what not to do, so it’s actually a lot better know that we know,” student Colin Whalen said.When it was our turn, my partner Alex Martin-Wallace and I discussed our plan of action. Then it was time to apply everything we’ve learned.While we passed our simulations, the real question is, would Alex trust me as his partner in the real world?”Overall I think you covered my back pretty well. We worked out that I’d be contact and you’d be cover. We both got a few rounds off when we needed to. We probably saved a few lives. If it was a real situation, good stuff,” he said after I asked him shortly after our turn in the domestic violence simulation.Alex says he’s always respected law enforcement, but now he has a new level of appreciation.He hopes to one day use his new skills when he enters the real police academy.”You learn by experience so you can’t really teach that stuff in the classroom, so it’s great Professor Plabaney gave us this opportunity,” he said.Citizen’s Police Academy is held twice a year.Anyone who lives or works in Orono can take part.If you’d like to find out how you can enroll, you can call the Orono Police Department at 866-4000