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County legislators try their hand at police work

Curran, Bynoe are trained by N.C.P.D

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The Nassau County Police Department recognized its latest graduates of the Civilian Police Academy on June 21. The course participants included community members, religious leaders, members of the press and Nassau County Legislators Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) and Siela Bynoe (D-Hempstead).

Curran said she enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. “We learned many aspects of police work, from DWI enforcement to active shooters to dog-sniffing dogs,” she said. “There was hands-on instruction as well. We got to role-play, as if we were cops walking into volatile situations.”

The 14-week academy provided specialized training, with the purpose of improving the relationship between police and the community. “The instructors are the top in their respective fields, and many are instructors in the ‘real’ police academy,” Curran said. “I got a sense of what police officers learn during their training.”

She found out about the program, and how it gives citizens a hands-on primer on the functions of a police department, from other legislators who took part in it. “I have a little more insight into what it’s like to be a police officer,” Curran said. “There’s a lot that the public doesn’t necessarily know, and this course helped to put a lot of things into better context.”

In addition to offering classes for adults looking to learn more about police work, the NCPD Foundation sponsors a police youth academy class. The program, which was created in 2007, brings students from across the county to the police academy for a day for a modified police course. It’s the department’s hope that students who enroll in the class will gain an understanding of how police officers ensure safety in local communities, and perhaps consider a career in law enforcement.

“Through this contribution by the NCPD Foundation, our Police Department is able to make valuable outreach to Nassau County students,” County Executive Ed Mangano said. “This program plays a critical role in building trust and confidence between our youngest people and the Police Department.”

Throughout the day, students participate in classroom lectures, physical training and demonstrations of such skills as defense tactics. The course is designed to educate students in the complexities of police work and the important service that officers provide.

“We understand how vital this program is to building relationships between the NCPD and young adults in our county,” said Eric Blumencranz, chairman of the NCPD Foundation. “By sponsoring this class, we hope to ensure that as many students as possible get to take advantage of such a wonderful program, that not only teaches them important lessons, but encourages a career in law enforcement.”