By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer
FAIRFIELD TWP. - It's a chance to see police work up-close - without getting arrested.
The township will offer its first citizen police academy, a program Police Chief Richard St. John had wanted to offer for years.
"I consider the citizen police academy to be a very, very important bridge between a police agency and the citizens that the police agency serves," he said.
While some nearby communities have been offering such programs for a number of years, the township finally has space in its new police station to house the program, St. John said, along with someone to coordinate it.
Crime prevention specialist Mike Oler has scheduled a 10-week program that includes topics ranging from the judicial system to police aviation and firearms training. One session will feature Oler, who is a certified forensic hypnotist.
"We're going to show them the real story behind CSI," Oler said, referring to the popular TV program, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Detective Doug Lanier said that show includes many accurate portrayals of crime-scene analysis tools - except for the speedy timing. "DNA tests do not come back the same day," he said.
The academy program will give residents a more realistic view of their local police agency, Lanier said.
Sessions will be 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, March 2 to May 4 at police headquarters, 6485 Vonnie Vale Court.
Registration is limited to 15 participants.
There is no charge for the academy; it is open to anyone who is at least 18 years old, resides or works in Fairfield Township, and passes a criminal background check.
Applications may be picked up at police headquarters from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
For more information, contact Oler at 887-4406, ext. 4258.
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