Le Mars Police Citizen Academy Class of 2018: Front Row, left to right, Bruce Tabbert, Rebecca McGinnis, Shay Gant, Laurie Peters, Joyce Jennings, Sithara Ranjan, Kris Singer, Chief Kevin Vande Vegte. Second row left to right: Terry Fitzgerald, Troy Presuhn, Robert Webb, Jason Mullally, Shisher Ranjan, Scott Pageler, Dennis Morrice, John MacGregor, Christopher Hausmann, and Assistant Chief Jay King.
(Le Mars) — Sixteen people from the greater Le Mars community consisting of varied backgrounds, recently completed a month-long, eight session program, hosted by the Le Mars Police Department. The program, entitled: Le Mars Citizen Academy was taught by Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte and Assistant Police Chief Jay King. The course was designed to offer members of the community a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities associated with the Le Mars Police Department. The academy class was introduced to several aspects of police work including: domestic assault and sexual assault scenarios, drug detection and enforcement, traffic stops, weapons, tactical strategies, use of force, crime scene investigation, the use of the police K-9, and field sobriety tests. Laurie Peters admits she was uncertain as to what to expect from the program.
Peters talks about some of the sessions she will long remember.
Terry Fitzgerald is a teacher at the Le Mars Community High School. He echoed the sentiments of Peters and other academy members.
Scott Pageler, another citizen academy member, owns and operates the Hardware Hank business. He says he has high praise for the Le Mars Police Department and will highly recommend to his customers to apply for future Citizen Police Academy courses.
Pageler says he has a better understanding and greater appreciation for the police department as a result of taking the class. Among the academy members, John MacGregor of The Education Station, is also a member of the Le Mars Ambulance Services. He probably has worked the closest with the officers, since they have responded together to several emergency calls. MacGregor says he is glad to have participated with the citizen police academy, and he has learned a lot because of it.
Each of the members of the Citizen Police Academy said they would recommend others to apply for the program.