Riverton City’s inaugural Citizen’s Police Academy has concluded for 2021. It was truly an honor to be part of the first Citizen’s Academy as a Riverton resident, and as a councilmember in District 5.
The Citizen’s Academy was a 6-week crash course of hands-on demonstrations, training scenarios and educational workshops that ran once a week for 4 hours per night from October 14 through graduation on November 18. This first class had about twenty participants, including Councilmember Sheldon Stewart from District 1 and 18 Riverton residents.
The class started with hearing from Chief Don Hutson and other officers on why they became a police officer and why they chose careers in law enforcement. It was interesting hearing their “why” and what motivates them to come to work and wear their badges protecting our community. We learned a great deal about what our police do every day from traffic enforcement, providing school resources, scenarios for felony stops, community policing, and local and state enforcement laws.
Later in the class, we got outside and did traffic stop scenarios, suspicious vehicle investigations, and disturbance call protocols, including the proper use of police equipment (radios, lights, vehicle positioning, etc.). Week 3 was going over SWAT situations and learning about protective equipment for officers and when to deploy certain firearms for gas and de-escalation techniques. We learned how to use flashbang tools and other methods to gain control over arrest and warrant situations. This included K-9 training and demonstrations.
In continued training, we learned about how police handle sex crimes and about the prosecution and judicial process. We were able to do simulation training with VIRTRA firearms and learn about identifying street drugs. Lastly, we learned about hostage negotiation with the crisis response unit, detective/crime scene investigations, and when to properly deploy use of force and tasers.
We learned a great deal that cannot be covered in this message; however, it gave us a birds-eye view of what officers can encounter on a daily basis and why split-second decisions have to be made relying on their experience and continuous training. This academy was eye opening to say the least.
We are in good hands with our RPD team. As a Riverton City Council member, this experience was invaluable when making budget decisions when supporting our men and women in public safety to make sure they have the training and the tools they need to keep the officers and community safe.
There are so many community resources available through the schools and the police department. Please contact the Riverton Police Department at 385-281-2455 or visit rivertonpd.org to learn about the resources available to our community.