Friday, June 17, 2011
Fifty-one students graduated from the Baltimore County Police's 30th Citizens Academy Tuesday. We left feeling empowered and wise.
What a long, great trip it's been for the class of 2011—of the Baltimore County Police Citizens Academy, anyway. The 30th, four-month long series of classes designed to teach citizens what police work is all about came to a close Tuesday. Of the 66 that started the program, 51 graduated and received a certificate from Police Chief James Johnson. This editor has dutifully documented the journey, from chaos to combat. My fellow graduates asked me to say a few words about the experience, which you can view in the accompanying video. In addition, here's a look back at the notes that filled my Citizens Police Academy Binder: Congratulations, all!
Friday, June 3, 2011
All over Baltimore County, officers are trained to encounter them.
The presentation in our second-to-last class of Baltimore County's 30th Citizens Academy by Allison Paladino, LCPW-C, and Det. Jeanne Pilarski-Slattery showed that of 2,503 calls for service in 2010, only 479 ended with trips to jail or the ER. That small percentage is what are officially called crises, and the way police deal with these types of incidents, such as suicides and people with chronic mental issues, has changed a lot over the past decade. Lock 'em up and "get touchy-feely" later is how Baltimore County police used to handle such situations, Paladino said. Escorting someone in need of an emergency psychological evaluation could tie patrol officers up for hours. Fixing the situation—and getting those cops back to work—was …
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Baltimore County police sometimes live dangerously.
The life of a bomb technician boils down to this reality—he or she does what few others are willing to do. "When everyone is going the other way, we're going towards the device," said Det. Steve Byrd of the Baltimore County Hazardous Devices team. Byrd was with us for the first half of the 13th class of this year's Citizens Academy. He looked like someone whom I would want to handle a high-stress, bomb-related situation. His stout, muscular build and crew cut matched his demeanor, which stayed serious while he described the duties of the four full-time bomb technicians in the county police department. Well, except when he mentioned the time one of his fellow technicians had to walk backwards from a device in the bomb suit in 30 inches …