Police look to reactivate Citizens Academy alumni, meeting set tomorrow


Graduates of the Citizens Police Academy are looking to reconnect by re-establishing the Alumni Association that was active several years ago. The new Alumni Association will allow anyone who has completed the program to unite with police officers and become educated on the resources, training and personnel of the Warwick Police Department. It’s also a way for academy graduates to get involved with public safety programs, sponsored by the police department, such as Stop DWI and Buckle UP.

The Citizens Police Academy has been running for the past 10 years. The program consists of training once a week for eight weeks and classes typically number about 25 to 30 people. Citizens will learn more about the role of the police force throughout the city. The academy serves to enrich the community by creating ambassadors that see behind the badge and bridge the gap between the Warwick population and Police Department.

“Us ordinary citizens have missed perceptions on what they do and it gives us a better understanding,” said recent graduate Gilbert Fernands.

Fernands, 30, is a graduate student at Salve Regina University and describes the academy as a good informative program that clears up misconceptions.

Christina Markrush, 23, education student at CCRI and graduate of the Citizens Police Academy, says that the Alumni Association is “a good idea to keep everyone involved in the community and with the police department.”

Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson said that she “thoroughly enjoyed” the training she received in the Citizens Police Academy and supports the effort to bring back the Alumni Association.

“It’s a great idea to keep a level of excitement going and will hopefully encourage additional neighborhood crime watch organizations,” says Vella-Wilkinson.

The Police Department is ready to restart the Alumni Association and keep it going for alumni who want to get involved. An informational meeting will be held for all graduates on Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Warwick Police Department. Contact Sgt John Kelly at john.kelly@warwickri.com or Officer Steve Nelson at steve.nelson@warwickri.com for additional information.


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