Thirteen students graduated with flying colours Thursday night from Moose Jaw's Citizens' Police Academy.

The five-week program gave participants an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Moose Jaw Police Service. The final session featured presentations on the Tactical Response Team and firearms.

Other topics covered included the Police and Crisis Team, Canine Unit, Criminal Investigation Section, Forensics Identification Unit, Victim Services, Community and Strategic Services, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (drones). The program concludes with an optional police ride-along on a Friday or Saturday night, which will be taking place over the next few weeks.

Constable Jayme Hoffman was one of the program instructors.

"The course went really well. This is the first time that we've run it since COVID put a halt on things. We're planning to run more in the future. The class was great, lots of participation. It ran really smooth," she said. "There was some younger individuals, some that may be interested in policing as future career. There was some older individuals that were just interested to see what we do and learn about policing."

Citizens' Police AcademyStudents had a chance to shoot a police issued firearm at the indoor range on Thursday night

Joshua Kelly, 19, was one of the 13 participants taking part in the program.

"I decided to sign up because I wanted to see what the police did in our community here and I also have an interest in policing myself. It's been a dream of mine since I was a young kid."

Kelly says the program reinforced his decision to pursue a career in law enforcement.

"The ride-along was very interesting," he commented. "We had so many different things going on at once. You could be at one call for a second and then you get another call about something else. So they're just all over the place dealing with so many different situations at once. Each day is so different for them."

Highlights for Kelly were talks surrounding Moose Jaw & District Victim Services, the Tactical Response Team, and the Canine Unit.

Moose Jaw resident Lori Korman also took part in the program.

"I've always been interested in how we are protected and kept safe. I didn't realize that the police do so much," she said. "I assumed the police went around giving tickets and apprehending the bad guy, but I didn't realize all the things that are involved."

Hoffman says the Moose Jaw Police Service is "always recruiting". Visit their website for information on how to apply.

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