Harris County residents can learn what it's like to be sheriff's deputy
Halfway through Becky Moon's first class with the Harris County Sheriff's Office Citizens Police Academy, a disheveled man enters the room and immediately reaches for a purse.
"When the guy ran off with the purse, the captain of the class asked us to give a description and we got 22 different descriptions," Moon, 57, said of the incident, in which an undercover officer staged the crime to demonstrate eyewitness identification.
"The whole lesson for the night was to learn to observe our surroundings and the people we walk past on the street."
Moon, an administrative assistant for Sulzer Turbo Services in La Porte, said that above all else, her experience in the program taught her to be aware of her surroundings.
About the program
The academy, a free, 13-week program offered to Harris County residents, is designed to inform the public about the role of the sheriff's office within the community.
The sheriff's office will hold its first Citizens Police Academy of 2011 at Fairfield Baptist Church, 27240 U.S. 290 in Cypress on Thursday, Feb. 10.
The course, which covers topics ranging from gang awareness to sex-offender tracking, features a series of interactive lessons encompassing many areas of law enforcement. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and complete a thorough background check.
Jan Brown, a deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office and co-coordinator of the program, said the class seeks to bridge communication between the sheriff's department and county residents.
"When they finish this they are able to ride along with us on patrols and serve with us with a lot of community service programs that we do," Brown said.
Moon graduated from the Citizens Police Academy in 1999, and is an active member of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association. A member of the District 3 chapter in northeastern Harris County, Moon said she remains diligent in encouraging others to become involved and show support.
"When you take the class you want everybody you know to take it with you because it's so much fun," Moon said.
"It just makes you feel good when you know who is patrolling or watching your house while you're away."
Details: Call 713-759-9454.
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