“It doesn’t end here,” says Chief Murrin
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (March 21, 2018) – This Wednesday evening, the classroom at the Lansing Police Department will be empty. The students who have been gathering there for the past nine weeks have now finished the Citizens Police Academy. They graduated on March 14 in a ceremony complete with certificates and graduation cake.
At their final meeting, Lansing Police Chief Dennis Murrin addressed the graduates and thanked them for attending. He affirmed the purpose of the course that had been set out on January 17 at the first class—to build relationships between police and community, so that we can all have a community we’re proud of. Murrin said, “It doesn’t end here. Make sure you bring what you’ve learned with you.” He encouraged the group to let friends and neighbors know about the class, as one way to keep the momentum going. And Deputy Chief Grutzius reminded the class that Neighborhood Watch is another way to stay involved.
A new level
This was the first time Lt. Scott Bailey had taught the Citizens Police Academy, and Murrin congratulated him for “taking it to a new level” with the help of Sgt. Gabe Barajas. Class members responded with enthusiastic applause.
“This is definitely not the end of how we communicate with each other,” said Bailey. Class members had received phone numbers and email addresses not only from Bailey and Barajas, but also from other members of the force who led different portions of the class. Bailey invited the group to “please use them if you ever come up with something we can help you out with.”
“I really enjoyed it,” said Eugene Batts, who attended the class with his daughter Alline. He appreciated the variety of topics and the accessibility of the teachers, specifically mentioning Cook County State’s Attorney Nick DeAngelo, who taught the class on February 28. “Any kind of question we threw at him, he could answer,” said Batts, “and you all did a good job as well.”
Marilyn Freeman expressed appreciation for the fun and friendship she experienced with fellow classmates as well as the officers. “I enjoyed meeting everyone,” she said, recalling in particular the class about speeding tickets led by Officer Dana Tatgenhorst. “I gave him the lowest score on my class evaluation,” she quipped.
Cake, coffee, and certificates
The class spent some time mingling over cake and coffee in the police department atrium before returning to the courtroom to officially receive their certificates.
Citizens Police Academy, Class of 2018
Not everyone paused for a photograph, but below are many of the 25 citizens who completed the classes and received a certificate.
Graduates not pictured include:
- Christine Billstrand
- Richard Braze
- Bill and Kathleen Corbett
- Dolphin Harris
- Hugutte Johnson
- Armani Williams
The Lansing Police Department typically plans at least one Citizens Police Academy each year, possibly more if interest is high and staff are available. Classes meet at the Lansing Police Department, 2710 170th Street in Lansing. Contact Lt. Scott Bailey for more information or to be notified about the next Citizens Police Academy:
- Call 708-895-7130
- Email email@example.com
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