CLINTON — Sworn to serve and protect, the Clinton Police Department is an organization filled with a unique breed of men and women and on Wednesday they welcomed 19 citizens into an association that supports them.
After 12 weeks of training with the CPD learning the ins and outs of police work, the 19th annual Clinton Citizens Police Academy members earned their honor and received a certificate of completion, graduating to alumni of the CPA.
“Since (1995) we’ll be graduating our 19th class and that’s almost unprecedented in law enforcement,” Police Chief Brian Guy said. “People are thirsty to keep coming back and wanting to know more about their police department so for that we appreciate everyone in Clinton who’s been through the academy.”
Joining that long list of graduated CPA classes was motivation for some to join the educational program. For others, learning about the men and women who vow to protect the Clinton community and the details of their life of service was motivation enough.
And what they learned is something they never expected.
“There are a lot of things that go on that you don’t think, or know, are going on,” CPA graduate Lon Young said. “This was a real eye-opener for me.”
Lon and his wife, Jennifer, decided to join the Citizens Police Academy after their son told them he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. They thought that by learning more about the life of a police officer, they would better understand why he chose that path.
If given a second chance, Jennifer said she would do it all over again.
“I don’t know if I would have done this if it wasn’t for him but I’m so glad we did,” she said. “It was well worth it and I encourage everyone to give it a try.”