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Letter: Those Who Keep Us Safe

To the Editor:

The Hartford Police Department successfully completed its inaugural Citizens Police Academy earlier this month. Every Tuesday evening for nine weeks, Hartford police officers and several guest speakers spoke to 30 members of the public on topics such as requirements and training to become a police officer, patrol operations, crash investigations, domestic violence, use of force, court procedures, juvenile crime, drugs and community policing. The program included lectures, a tour of the facility, informational handouts, slide presentations, video clips and live demonstrations.

The Citizens Police Academy was an impressive debut for a program that the department plans to build on and make available in the future as time and resources allow. Ten police department personnel and three guest speakers deserve gratitude for their efforts to educate the public. These people do the very difficult work of trying to keep our community safe 24/7. Police work is not an easy job; officers put in long hours (often working overtime), give up many holidays, deal with recalcitrant people (many of whom have substance-abuse problems and are repeat offenders), and get little recognition for their efforts. If something appears to go wrong or someone complains about their efforts, the media paint a one-sided picture, often relying on the accounts of offenders and innocent but well-meaning bystanders.

We all know that every story has two sides, but the police are not allowed to tell their side unless a case goes to court. If you want a more comprehensive picture of what the Hartford Police Department does to support our community, sign up to attend the next Citizens Police Academy. You’ll gain some valuable insight into the risks and rewards of police work as well as a greater appreciation for the sacrifices law enforcement officials make on our behalf.

Richard Wesson

White River Junction

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