Payson Host For 2007 Law Enforcement Citizens Academy

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Payson will host the 2007 Northern Gila County Public Safety Law Enforcement Academy.

Lt. Tim Scott of the Gila County Sheriff's office said the academy will begin on Aug. 29 and is scheduled to run for 10 weeks.

He said the academy will give participants an introduction to the basics of police work.

"We want to give the general public and idea of just what a police officer does in the course of daily activities," Scott said.

"We'll cover things like traffic stops and how to handle them safely, DUIs, crime scene investigation and security, all the way to how to de-escalate a potentially violent situation," He added.

Scott said the academy will also provide those who sign up with an introduction to non-lethal weapons used by police, as well as some firearms training.

"Everyone in the program will be introduced to the tools police use like batons and Tasers," he said.

"And yes, there will very likely be opportunities for them (academy participants) to volunteer to be tased so they can experience for themselves what it is like."

Scott said that the department was unable to offer the academy to the Payson area last year.

This year he said he wanted to make sure northern Gila County was given the opportunity to participate.

The academy is sponsored by various law enforcement agencies in Gila County like DPS, the county attorney's office and the sheriff's department.

Classes offered during the academy will be taught by the various participating law enforcement agencies, not just the Gila County Sheriff's Department.

The academy is scheduled to run on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning Aug. 29 and will continue through Oct. 31 in room 403 at Gila County Community College.

Classes will include lectures on law enforcement related topics like criminal and traffic law, when to and not to use force, narcotics investigation, as well as hands on participatory demonstrations like a mock crime scene in which students will secure the scene, gather evidence and try to solve it.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the academy may pick up an application at the Payson Police Department or the Gila County Sheriff's Department office.

Background checks will be performed on all applicants before they will be accepted into the academy.

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