Residents Take Part at Naperville’s Citizens Police Academy

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Twenty-three Naperville residents found themselves in the thick of a crime scene on a recent Wednesday night. Thankfully, this was just an exercise at the Citizens Police Academy. The 10-week program is offered by the Naperville Police Department twice a year to give the public a better understanding of the work officers do day in and day out.

“I believe that it is a great look into what law enforcement really means nowadays. Specifically with crime scene investigation. There’s something called the CSI effect. And we want to show them the reality of what we do on a daily basis, versus what the media portrays in those TV shows,” said Crime Scene Technician Carrie Keahl.

Class Schedule

Each class starts with a lecture, followed by demonstrations and an opportunity for some hands-on experience. On this particular visit, class members got to go through the steps of a crime scene investigation. They visited the scene, dusting for fingerprints and marking them in the lab.

“They get really into it sometimes, especially the people that maybe watch a lot of like true crime and are really like interested in this sort of thing, and they love it. So they will take something way further than it was maybe intended and it becomes kind of fun,” said Crime Scene Technician Kristyn Urgo.

Not just on Patrol

The activities each class safely transport participants right into the world of the officers.

“So patrol officers they’re able to get into a look at the traffic stops that they perform, the search warrants, the drugs that they search for with the K-9 officers and then the investigation side as well,” said Keahl.

Some Interest in taking an Officer Role

Those in the class come from a variety of backgrounds, each with different reasons for their involvement.

“We have students that are also interested in internships based on their undergraduate degree, in order for them to eventually become police officers,” said Keahl. “And then again we have people that work for, let’s say the state’s attorney’s office, or the medical examiner or the coroners office, and they just want to get to know a little bit more about what we do so that it can further assist in their job.”

Keahl hopes that all the class members walk away with a more realistic and complete view of what police work is.

“I hope that they at least learn one thing new that they didn’t know coming into it. That can be something simple as to what types of crimes that we process here in Naperville all the way to the specifics as to how long it takes to get a DNA result back or a fingerprint match back.” said Keahl.

Dusting up on the ins and outs of police work, one class at a time.

Naperville News 17 Patrick Codo Reports.