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Grosse Pointe Woods

November 8, 2012

Public safety Citizens’ Academy is a success

By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Public Safety Director Andrew Pazuchowski was happy to see how much the residents who took part in a Citizens’ Public Safety Academy learned through the process.

He was so pleased with the program that they’re planning to host another one next year and are hoping to get even more residents involved.

“It basically went over the (department’s) operations from start to finish,” he said of the six-week academy that ran through mid-October.

There was a small group of residents who completed the academy this year, but they were engaged in the process. The weekly program was supposed to run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., but the residents who took part weren’t quite ready to leave most nights.

“It was so interactive and so informative that the earliest they left there was 10:30 (p.m.),” Pazuchowski said.

“The ones that were here really enjoyed it,” he said. 

Pazuchowski is planning on doing it again next year. He is considering tweaking it some to make it a four-week program.

“I’ve had such positive feedback from them and the things they didn’t realize that we provide,” he said of this year’s academy.

During this year’s program, the residents learned about a variety of different public safety aspects from accident investigations and dispatch to court proceedings. They also sat through sessions on fire safety, operations and CPR among other informative sessions.

George McMullen, one of the residents who completed the 2012 program, enjoyed the learning process.

He signed up to learn more about those in the department and look for ways he could be helpful as a resident, he said in an email.

He said that he learned they had a firing range during the full tour of headquarters. He saw the department’s K-9 officer, Raleigh, give a demonstration, and took part in other learning sessions.

As for other residents, he said he would recommend they, too, take part in the academy in the future.

“Meet your public safety officers, understand them, and more residents need to realize that they are doing much more with less,” McMullen said.

“Over and over again, I asked how could we help, and they all said call, call, call,” McMullen said, adding that calling public safety prevents little issues from growing into bigger problems.

“The public safety (officers) need citizens on the street to be their eyes and ears,” he said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer April Lehmbeck at alehmbeck@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1043.