By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
Cops in Plainfield want to put more members of the public in their squad cars.
But it’s not a sting aimed at residents. Folks are being asked to learn what it’s like for local emergency responders, as part of this year’s PlainfieldCitizen’s Police and Fire Academy.
The academy has welcomed residents to learn about their local police and fire agencies for the past decade, although they took a year off last year. The academy is one of the only citizen’s academies in the nation that incorporate both the police department and the fire district.
“It’s to allow the citizens to learn more about how law enforcement works,” said Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek.
Participants will spend ten weeks with officials from the Plainfield Police Department and the Plainfield Fire Protection District, getting first-hand knowledge of training and day to day operations. The participants get to tag along as officers go about some of their duties, and learn some basics of first responders, including defensive tactics, climbing ladders, evidence collection, and fighting fires. Participants will also get to take a ride-along with each department.
Konopek said that the police and fire try to keep class size to about 25 to 30 participants, getting some personal attention for each citizen enrolled.
“I think we do a lot more hands-on stuff than other academies do,” Konopek said. “We make it very hands-on.”
The academy runs every Thursday night from March 16 through May 25.
Participants must be 18 years or older to apply. All applications must be returned to the Plainfield Police Department by Feb. 27.
Applications can be picked up at the Plainfield Police Department, 14300 S. Coil Plus Drive, Plainfield, or found online at plainfield-il.org/pages/documents/CitizensPoliceFireAcademyApplication.pdf.
More information can be found on the Plainfeild Police Department’s Facebook page.