Join Carpentersville Citizens' Police Academy

Published11/2/2008 12:01 AM

Do you have an interest in law enforcement?

Here's a chance to take your curiosity further than your couch or the movie theater. Apply for a spot in the Carpentersville Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy.


The academy will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Jan. 14. Community Resource Officer Michael Salvaggio, who is facilitating the academy, said those interested should sign up now as applications and consent forms will be sent out in mid-November. Applicants will be subject to a consented background check. Carpentersville residents will be given first priority, followed by those that work in town. The cost is free.

According to Salvaggio, it has been several years since Carpentersville has held a citizens' police academy.

"We thought it would be a great opportunity to share with the community the way our police department functions and some of the different types of expertise that our officers have," said Salvaggio.

The academy will begin with an overview of law enforcement and a tour of the police department and the QuadCom dispatch center.

The weekly sessions will consist of lectures that are followed by hands-on activities. Topics will include arrest procedures, firearms training, response to resistance, gang awareness, drug investigations, crime scene investigations, traffic enforcement, and canine demonstrations, to name just a few.

"Obviously, three hours of just sitting someone behind a table or a desk and lecturing to them for that period of time can be pretty boring. So we try to bring some hands-on approaches," said Salvaggio.

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For example, during the segment on firearms training, participants will use the FATS (Firearms Training System) simulation, which is what police officers themselves use. The training uses digital technology and laser-emitting weapons to provide realistic weapons training.

"There's a large video screen and it's run by a couple of our range officers. There are different types of scenarios that they can run through so the individual will have to make a decision to shoot or not shoot.

"It is a weapon, but it does not shoot live ammunition. It provides a little more lifelike, realistic decision making as opposed to sitting on a firing range and shooting. It measures things such as reaction time and whether or not it was an appropriate decision."

Another highlight is sure to be the session on crime scene investigation. There will be a mock homicide scene constructed at the police department.

"They'll be able to come into a scene and utilize some of the different techniques that they've learned in that class, like how to process the scene, how to keep the scene secure, basic fingerprinting, and chain of evidence. We'll have a couple officers here to critique them."


Other hands-on activities planned include: arrest procedures, where participants will learn handcuffing techniques; response to resistance, where they will learn how police officers elevate use of force as it's warranted using defensive tactics, compliance moves, and use of a Taser.

There will also be a canine demonstration where they will plant contraband in a car and have a police dog search for it; drug enforcement where they will demonstrate how they field test drugs, how they are weighed, and how a drug investigation begins and concludes; and traffic enforcement focusing on accident reconstruction and DUI enforcement where participants will do simulated traffic stops in a squad car.

Salvaggio has hand selected several people to help teach the course such as an assistant state's attorney, a master sergeant from the North Central Narcotics Task Force, members of Carpentersville's Community Response Team, and a Carpentersville Police Department evidence technician to name a few.

"We'll utilize their experience and expertise to actually train and teach this academy," said Salvaggio.

If you're 21 or older and are willing to make the commitment to attend the ten weeks, contact Salvaggio at (847) 551-3481 or

If you have any news about your club, school, church, business, neighbor, or even yourself, contact Kirstin Finneran by cell at (312) 518-4993 or e-mail

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