Friday, July 31, 2015

Cop For a Day (Part Two)

This is a continuation of my previous post regarding the Citizen Police Academy, offered twice a year by the Santa Cruz Police Department.


The SCPD Special Weapons and Tactics team is part of their Emergency Services Unit (ESU), which also handles hostage negotiations and scuba dives (usually to recover evidence). Being a part of the ESU is in addition to an officer’s regular post with the department, and generally comprises about 10 hours of the officer’s work week.

The tactical (SWAT) portion of the ESU is responsible for high-risk searches and arrests, hostage rescues, dealing with barricaded suspects and armed suspects, and terrorism. It takes about one hour to deploy the Santa Cruz SWAT team.

Here’s a photo I took of the lucky student who got to show off the extremely heavy SWAT team gear to the rest of our class:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cop For a Day (Part One)

Twice a year, the Santa Cruz Police Department offers a ten-week course for members of the community, called the Citizen Police Academy. Figuring this would be a great way to get some insights for future mystery novels—not to mention being interesting in its own right—I decided to sign up for the most recent session.

Officer Joe Hernandez of the SCPD’s Community Service section ran our class, which consisted of guest speakers, field trips, and demos (including class participation!).

I learn how to conduct a high risk search of a building
(Photo: Deborah Elston)