I had signed up in February to take the Citizens Police Academy through Boise Police. It was a big commitment, every Wednesday night from 6:30 - 9:30 from March the end of May. I missed several classes when my son shared his cold with me that lasted 4 weeks but enjoyed every class I made it to.
One thing was driven home to me over these 3 months - I am definitely socially retarded. I didn't use to be that way, and I know why I am now, but I don't like it. Not one little bit. I'm jealous when I see people standing around visiting with total strangers - or even people they know. It pains me to think that I probably come off as "unfriendly." Maybe I should get a t-shirt to tell people I'm not unfriendly but rather socially retarded.
However, the class was really good. It was fascinating to tour the jail and learn about crime scene investigation. I had always wanted to fingerprint a crime scene! I enjoyed every minute of it. The instructors were awesome and the officer who taught the class is married to a former Game Warden, now Boise City Motorcycle Officer. It was enlightening and enjoyable.
There was one class which I found disturbing/fascinating. Boise City has two officers who spend every day working on Internet safety/child porn. They spoke about several local cases, including one from almost 20 years ago. She was a young girl at the time (7) who had pictures taken and was abused by her father. They talked about how these pictures taken 20 years ago, have been found in the "collections" of almost every person they have arrested on Internet porn charges since. This girl, now 27, will have this horror follow her for the rest of her life. It was something I had never thought about. Knowing that we have 2 officers who do this job every day was eye opening. They are both fathers and husbands - neither man was a religious zealot, but both told us that the only way they get through every day doing this job is through "faith." They were impressive and I admire them.
I enjoyed the ride-along, even though it was boring. Boise, thankfully, doesn't have that much crime. There was a "loud party" call that we went to and I swear that there must have been 9 cars that also responded - it was a quiet night in Boise. The officer I rode with turned out to be the son-in-law of an old friend from Garden Valley. It was fun to talk to him about his job and see how much he enjoys it.
I wish everyone could take this class. I'll probably now volunteer to do some Greenbelt patrol work. I think I'd like that. And I'll join the CPA Alumni Association which raises money to help buy equipment for the officers that the city can't afford to buy for them.
Oh, and did I mention that I got a coffee mug and t-shirt!