Jan 29, 2012
The Charlotte County Sheriffs Office held the fourth running of the Citizen Police Academy this past Thursday evening on January 26th, 2012. Class attendees were welcomed with an early evening dinner catered by Kays Pizza that saw them donate three large pizzas. Past academy graduate and current forensics department intern Kathy Burnam brought in a full pan of homemade baked chocolate chip cookies to serve as palate cleaning desert during the intermission of the evenings class.
Logistics Chief John Heck held the first slot of presentations for the evening, He came forth to give a speech lead by a power point slide presentation that primarily consisted on informing class attendees on the Emergency Response Team and the Mobile Field Force Team.John Hecks duties as Logistics Chief include ensuring overall equipment is inventoried and maintained, obtaining vendor information for equipment, seeking of grant related opportunities to fund equipment and training needs when possible, and obtaining reports from team logistics persons in the field to ascertain and fill member request needs. The class was taught about the chain of command in this unite and the responsibilities each member holds for their position that deal in themes of equipment management, team member management, medical and injury reports, training, deploying into field operation, and monthly inspections. The class was taught about the extensive training the ERT practices and the individual He informed the class on the duties that Emergency Response team performs and how the type of calls they respond to that include statewide natural disaster response, response to suspected weapons of mass destruction, perimeter security, grid searches for persons and evidence, tactical search and rescue, support for SWAT and relief of patrol teams supporting Swat on calls, and finally supplement for patrols on major cases.
John Heck also taught the class about the purpose of the Mobile Field Force Team and the situations they will respond to that involves response to riots, civil disorders, crowd control. The mobile Field Force team will also be sending members up to Tampa, Florida to assist in the Republican National Convention this year as other agencies around the state will be doing to provide support for the huge event. The police Riot shield was passed around the class for citizens to see first hand the protective shield is used for blocking incoming projectiles like bottles rocks and bottles that are often thrown at police doing security detail, they shield also protects against supersoakers filled with urine and other harmful chemicals that are sprayed often at police during these types of protests and riots. John fielded questions from the class before the group took a short intermission.
Robert Gay stepped into the final slot of presentations for the evening with a in depth slide show presentation that dealt with gang activity, he is the head officer in charge of the gang unit for the Charlotte County Sheriffs office so it was appropriate that he would be the individual to teach the class on this matter. He started his speech by informing the class of the history of gangs in the United States dating back to the early 1900s and taught the class the physiological aspect of gang origins and how ethnic segregation due to language barrier and a lack of tolerance for other nationalities led to people from the same culture beginning to run in the same circles which would eventually lead to organized crime of individuals who chose to break the law. He also hit on the hierarchy of basic humans needs that starts off in survival and branches up into social needs and how a lack of needs being met in any of these levels can lead to an individual looking for love, fellowship, and money needs is typically the foundation for individuals getting into gang activity. He presented a slide show with pictures of each gang and the traits that identify each gang members such as specific tattoos and clothing attire. He also showed a bit of pop cultures influence and the influence they have over people in gangs that has become a huge epidemic in the youth of this country. The small 941 Soulja gang was highlighted as the only gang that resides in Charlotte County and he showed the class a few slides that pertained to the gang and informed the class of the Sheriffs quick success in apprehending these individuals before any influence in the are was built or crimes elevated to a higher level. The speech also included several slides of gang signs and each signs affiliation with a specific gang as well as a check list of warning signs for teenagers who are displaying behaviors that typically lead to them eventually joining a gang.
Week 4 of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Police Academy on January 19th, 2012
Article written and photography by Peter Aratari of Punta Gorda Florida Today, Article Published on January 27, 2012
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