The night started off explaining a little about Community Services. Community Services helps retail stores by providing them with information, through email, about possible identifications of future customers that may, as an example, shoplift or perpetrate another crime. Retail crime is the biggest crime in Troy. The Troy Police Department has focused on crime prevention. They work with schools discussing the outcomes of breaking the law and the consequences that may be long or short term. Examples are texting while driving, shoplifting, drinking alcohol, or using or selling of drugs. Community Services works with the community, sponsoring the Active Shooter Seminar which was held last week at Walsh College.
Community Services has a volunteer group of citizens working with the department called Citizens on Patrol. They are the eyes and ears that patrol the city and watch for anything out of the ordinary, such as someone in a vehicle casing a neighborhood or a vehicle parked in a school or church parking lot after hours. The Citizens on Patrol call into dispatch on situations and let them decide if a police car is warranted. The patroller gives full details to what they see, hear, or smell. To become part of Citizens on Patrol a resident must first complete the Citizens Police Academy (7 weeks). There is also a mandatory training session for volunteers who want to become part of Citizens on Patrol.
Next on the agenda was the topic of the Professional Standards area of the department. There are many parts to this section. These include licensing of vendors, records department, background checks, emergency preparedness for any situation like hazmat or weather related, internal affairs, or staff inspections to name a few. The Troy Police Department is proud of all those who are part of their organization. One area used to get the quality of personnel is to go through the application and interview process. It is a rigorous process. The department has an open application time in which you apply by filling out a thick application. After submitting all of the required paperwork, a background investigation is done. They ask questions such as “who were all of your college roommates in school?” or “name all of the schools you have attended since you were ten years old”. They ask you to name all the jobs you had and tell how you left these positions. The lieutenant stated that when he applied, they found a glitch on him when he was in middle school. He had to explain himself and it better match. All of the process is scored and the applicants are placed in a numerical order. If there is an opening, the list is used to call in applicants for the final phase of the hiring process. Some applicants have moved on to other departments by the time they are notified because of the time involved in waiting for an opening or just going through all of the first part of the application process. The components that make up the score for the list are the application, interview, and written test. The list is kept active for two years. After that time, a new list is generated through the same process.
We were next broken up into three groups. Before we left to go to our respective assigned area, we heard from the firearms instructor for the department. His instruction was on firearm safety. Every move in the firing range must be for safety. All guns are always considered loaded – even if you know they are empty. Keep the weapon pointed downrange. Keep the finger off the trigger. Know your target and what is behind your target. All weapons the police are using are issued by the department. The handgun is a Glock.
The first group watched a short video on the police department that is located on the Troy Police Department’s Facebook site. There was a question and answer session on anything we wanted to know more about or if we had a question on anything since the first day.
The groups switched and were introduced to a command vehicle demonstration. The department has four large vehicles like Crown Victorias and an Explorer that have equipment and tools in the trunk in case of certain incidents. The tools and equipment are used for prevention, as well as tactics, to end situations. The incidents could include someone with suicidal tendencies who refuses to come out of the house, a hostage situation, or using the vehicle to enter a situation to act as a shield if an officer is shot.
The last area was downstairs in the firing range. The group listened to more about safety, how to hold and fire the gun, and then to proceed to follow oral directions to fire 20 rounds at two targets. The first was for practice and the second for a score. Safety glasses and ear protection was also used. The police department does not use ammunition with lead.