Citizens Police Academy: Special Response Team

By: Ivette Marques
By: Ivette Marques

We end our look at the Citizens Police Academy with a glimpse at the Thomasville Police Department's Special Response Team, a group of officers trained to handle high-risk situations.

"Dynamic, very, very informative; I was on the edge of my seat all night."

That was the consensus among the students at the Citizens Police Academy as they learned about the Thomasville Special Response Team.

SRT is made up of 18 officers from the city and county including two two-man sniper teams.

Steven Belvin, Assistant SWAT Commander, says, "Basically, we're just trying to tell them a little bit about ourselves and what our capabilities are, what it takes to be a member of SRT."

Belvin says the Special Response Team goes through extensive training and is able to respond to high risk arrests, search warrants, hostage situations, escapees, and lost children. He adds the goal of his class was to make citizens feel safe and students say he succeeded.

REV Gregory Robinson says, "It makes me feel safe, not only safe as an individual, but the county as a whole, because anything that happens I'm quite sure these guys are capable of handling."

This class was also graduation for students. After 13 weeks, these citizens have only one thing to say.

Kathy Megahee, a student, says, "I wish more people would take advantage of this academy. It's offered to the public and I just wish more people would attend and find out what is available."

Armed with new knowledge, these citizens are ready to get out in the community and let people know about the academy and the Thomasville Police Department. The hope is to get more citizens involved and educated.

Graduates of the Citizens Police Academy say it's an eye-opening experience, one they will take with them and apply to their jobs and lives.

The Tallahassee Police Department is currently accepting applications for its Citizens Police Academy. It will start in January of 2006.

For information, visit www.talgov.com.


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