By Pauletta Dusterberg, Student in the 6th Speedway Police Citizens Academy
Wow, can’t believe this is my last blog on the Speedway Police Citizens Academy. This was our last class, but not the end of my adventure. My adventure is just beginning, I have become part of the Speedway Police Citizens Academy Alumni and hoping that I will be accepted in the V.I.P. Program (Volunteers in Policing). If you haven’t gotten excited to be part of the Citizens Academy, then you haven’t read my blog close enough. Please check them out here: Speedway Police Citizens Academy and Speedway Volunteers in Policing (V.I.P.)
This week’s class was Chaplains and the Marion County Prosecutors Office. Chaplain Rick Kassel presented a slide show and talk about the Chaplain Division. Speedway is lucky to have 5 Chaplains to call upon. Chaplains are not there to preach or convert, they are there to offer assistance and spiritual guidance in times of need. They are called to assist at many calls that involve death or serious injury, to be there to comfort and assist family members, officers and victims. The Chaplains are there not only for the public but for the officers and their families, they are part of the Police family, and are there for them for any guidance they may need. They also represent the SPD at community events as requested. They are on call 24/7, 365 days a year.
Many thanks to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for the discussion on the Community Prosecution Division. It was very interesting to learn about the Marion County Criminal Court system and criminal case process. We learned about the collaboration between the Marion County Prosecutor’s office, criminal justice partners and the community to create safer neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life. There is a prosecutor located in each police district, who along with their regular duties with the court, also attend meetings and develop partnerships with neighborhood associations, businesses, and agencies. They promote and conduct crime prevention programs and initiatives. I learned that there are several crime prevention and education programs, such as Project Cybersafe -Educating students about cyberbullying, online threats and making them responsible with social networking and the legal consequences; EKG – Educating Kids about Gun Violence, Crime and Fraud Prevention. We were given some very detailed information on the process that goes on before a case goes to court or jury trial. We learned about the different types of probation and programs available in lieu of a jail sentence. There is a lot of time and research that goes into being a prosecutor and I have a lot of respect for the office and what they must go through to make sure everyone gets fair treatment.
ON TO GRADUATION! Congratulations to the 2015 class of the Speedway Police Citizens Academy!