Lincoln Police detail Citizen’s Academy safety procedures

Posted By: Sarah Fili

A tragic accident: Police in Florida fatally shooting a woman during a Citizen’s Academy class. It’s a community role playing event designed to show volunteers the split second decision officers face in a "shoot/don’t shoot" scenario.

"We were unaware that any live ammunition for this particular weapon existed,” Chief Tow Lewis, Punta Gorda Police Department, said.

Lincoln Police have a similar academy, putting volunteers in officer’s shoes.

Captain Genelle Moore has overseen the academy before and says here, safety is at the center of it.

"It’s very important first to designate a safety officer, and that safety officer is responsible for those weapons, to make sure those weapons are empty and they don’t have anything in them,” she said.

Captain Moore says the situation in Florida is exactly why they designate one person to handle all weapons before they are used, and then they’re loaded with blanks.

"If there is something in the magazine to start with the safety officer unloads it all. They unload it all to make sure we start at square A,” she said.

In the scenario’s here in Lincoln, officers and volunteers are given weapons and protective gear. They’re trained on what police face when in a dangerous situation. She says they bring in their range master and their tactical defense trainers to make sure every step to keep people safe is being taken.

"We definitely pay attention to detail because of, obviously, the danger involved,” she said.

Captain Moore says that’s just one of many lessons citizens learn in the academy.

Lincoln fire and rescue and the department of corrections are also a part of the Citizen’s Academy.

Captain Moore assures us the citizen’s academy here is safe.

She encourages people to sign up for it and says it’s a great chance for people to understand a day in the life of an officer. LPD is planning another academy in the spring.