MLPD’s first group of graduates: Back Row: Officer David Scobie, Craig Hansen, Marcia Hansen, Phil Higerd, Harry White, Brian Macklin, Chief Dan Watson Front Row: Sharon Clark, Mara Apodaca, Maria Vasquez, Kara Sopp Not Shown: Mitch Felkel
Ten members of the Mammoth community completed the first Mammoth Lakes Community Police Academy and received certificates from Police Chief Dan Watson on June 30 for completing the eight-week course. The Community Police Academy was recommended by Officer David Scobie who became aware of a similar program while visiting relatives in Oregon. Officer Scobie volunteered to coordinate a similar program in Mammoth Lakes.
The course consisted of eight, three hour sessions. The topics included tours of the police station, use of force, firearms training, narcotics, DUI, traffic enforcement, and meeting with the District Attorney. Members of the Police Department served as instructors.
“The purpose of the Community Police Academy is to educate the public about what their police department does, why and how they do it,” explained Chief Watson. “Graduates come away with a much better understanding of the criminal justice system and the role the Police Department plays in keeping the public safe.”
According to class participant Harry White, “The eight week Mammoth Lakes ‘Community Police Academy’ was most interesting and informative. I was not sure what to expect when I signed up, I’m sure pleased that I did. Acting out traffic stops, breaking up fights, crowd control, etc. provided a unique insight to the real time decisions that police officers face daily. Hands on experiences with firearms and sobriety testing was awesome. This was an excellent opportunity to see inside police work. I recommend residents of Mammoth sign up the next time the academy is offered.”
It is anticipated that future Community Police Academies will be held approximately every six months, depending on community interest. Anyone interested in attending a future Academy should contact Officer Scobie at 760.934.2011, ext. 55, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.