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Shelbyville police to have citizen police academy

The Shelbyville Police Department will have a citizens’ police academy. If you’ve wondered about the day-to-day actions of police, this is a good opportunity for you. This is a seven-week academy, and along with activities each member of the Citizens Police Academy will be allowed to ride along with an officer on regular duty and get to observe first hand traffic stops, answering calls for service and many other unique situations that officers deal with. On one weekend, participants will go the department’s firing range. To apply and see more details, click here. 


During the first week, participants will receive a welcome and introduction from Chief Austin Swing. Lt Trey Clanton will follow with the State of Tennessee requirements that all perspective police officers must comply with before attending the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and what to expect while attending the academy. Major Jan Phillips usually leads into the organization of the Shelbyville Police Department and the police role in the community. The last segment will be a tour of the Bedford County Correctional Facility, compliments of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department.

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During the second week of the program, members are introduced to the Judicial System of Bedford County by Assistant District Attorney Richard Colley of the 17th Judicial District of Tennessee. The 17th Judicial District includes Bedford. Moore, Marshall, and Lincoln Counties. Lt. Jason Williams talks about traffic stops and shows some actual footage of traffic stops and pursuits that have been conducted by the Police Department.


During the third week, things start jumping. Lt Mike Baker, Lt. Trey Clanton, instruct on the police departments procedures for conducting traffic stops while Patrolman Mike Davis demonstrates how radar is utilized for traffic stops.

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After the traffic stop instruction is completed the class will be taken outdoors. We then go to a predetermined location, where the hands on instruction on the use of radar equipment will be performed. During this same time, pre-planned traffic stops will be conducted where the class members will actually conduct high risk, felony traffic stops, to help learn the hazards of police work.


In week four of the course, members of the Criminal Investigations Division talk about crime scenes and their role investigating these crime scenes. Lt. Pat Mathis along with Sgt. Brian Crews and Detective Charles Merlo talk about the procedures they follow while investigating certain crimes. Sgt Bill Logue also talks about the importance of evidence collection and demonstrates procedures for the collection of evidence. They are also introduced in methods for obtaining and collecting fingerprints at a crime scene.

After this members will participate in the investigation of a mock crime scene put together by the Criminal Investigations Division. They will be able to determine what happened at the scene and will gather the evidence from the scene

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Week five starts out with a briefing on traffic crash investigations by Lt. Trey Clanton. K-9 Officer Tracey Nelson and K-9 “Remy” are also on scene to talk about drug enforcement and the K-9’s role in finding illegal narcotics.

After the briefing the class is taken outside to a predetermined location and is given a mock traffic accident to investigate. Afterwards K-9 Officer Nelson and partner “Remy” give a live demonstration of how they are able to find narcotics in vehicles during traffic stops.


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During week six the class is introduced to the Bedford County Communication Center. They are taken on a tour of the center by the Director Cathey Mathis. Cathey demonstrated how 911 calls are received and then directed to each department and also answered any questions they had about the 911 system.

 After the tour of the Communication Center, they are brought back to the Police department where Detective Charles Merlo talks about the investigation of Domestic Violence situations and its impact on families. Detective Merlo talks about the department’s procedures for answering these types of calls and the domestic violence law. If time permits the class may actually get to participate in a mock domestic situation set up by members of the police department.  


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In the final week of the Citizen’s Police Academy a dinner is provided by the Department.  Chief Swing, Deputy Chief Mike Rogers, Major Jan Phillips and Lt. Trey Clanton conduct a question and answer session about the Police Academy and then Chief Swing presents each member of the class a certificate and sweatshirt.

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