Completing the CPA class gives citizens the privilege of volunteering to assist with many programs of the Austin Police Department. And, at the same time, they offer service to the community, and know that they have made a contribution. ACPAAA members can participate in volunteer opportunities with Blue Santa, National Night Out, VIN etchings, Academy training role play scenarios with cadets, receptions at cadet graduation ceremonies, pawn shop data entry, and sorting/filing arrest records. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Melinda Rodriguez, ACPAAA President.
February 11, 2014, was day one of the current Citizen Police Academy session, a program which Austin began in 1987. The 37 class participants were welcomed by SPO Kilgore and treated to a meal provided by the Austin CPA Alumni Association. Over the 14 weeks of the session, the class will receive information from police officers which will promote greater understanding of the operations of the department and police work in Austin. In mid-March, the class president announced that she had received commitments from restaurants to provide food to the class on four dates during the session. Those generous restaurants are: Jimmy John’s, Hoover’s, Love Balls, and East Side Café. The class also planned to hold an informational meeting for any members of their class and previous classes who will make application for police officer positions at APD. Graduation ceremonies for the 80th class are planned for May 20.
Operation Blue Santa is preparing to host the 3rd Annual “Swing Into Action” Golf tournament. The tournament benefits Operation Blue Santa, which provides meals and gifts to needy Austin families during the holidays.
Operation Blue Santa is supported over 3,500 families this past year and is in need of support from the Austin community. Everyone is highly encouraged to invite any and all golfers that they may know to this event – Operation Blue Santa and the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association thanks you!
The tournament will be held on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at Falconhead Golf Club (15201 Falconhead Blvd, Austin, TX 78738) at 1:00 PM. Please click on the picture of the flyer above for more details.
ACPA was recently featured in an online article for the Daily Texan, the University of Texas’s student newspaper. In it, Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore, ACPAAA President Melinda Rodriguez, and ACPAAA Vice-President Susan Reed were quoted praising the ACPA for its service to the city and spreading the word about the program.
The article can be viewed here.
In its 26th year of providing education through the Citizen Police Academy to the people of Austin, the Austin Police Department held graduation ceremonies on December 17, 2013, for 31 citizens who completed the session that began in September. In the Academy, APD strives to create understanding through education and increase the rapport between citizens and police officers. The class members gained a working knowledge of APD and benefited from information in the diverse curriculum topics presented by the police officers.
Family members and friends of the graduates gathered at Cornerstone Church to recognize the 79th Class for their commitment in completing the class. Graduates were commended by the CPA Coordinator, Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore, who praised their efforts and success.
“Congratulations to the graduates of the 79th Citizens Police Academy. It was my pleasure spending the last 14 weeks with all of you. I hope that this experience was enlightening to you all, and going forward I hope the relationship and communication between you and your Police Department grows more and more each day.”
– Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore
To show their appreciation to Officer Kilgore for his work as coordinator, Class President Nanci Wilson, on behalf of the class, presented a special gift to Officer Kilgore during the ceremony.
A reception with refreshments after the ceremony was provided and hosted by the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association which is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the APD through volunteerism and community activities. Graduates of the Academy are encouraged to join the Alumni Association and participate in their motto of “Sharing a commitment for a stronger, educated community” through the Association’s activities.
For photos of the 79th ACPA graduation, please visit our Photos page.
The Austin Police Department has received nine donated K9 vests from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. (VIK9s). The vests, Level II Spike II Gemini by Armor Express located in Michigan, are valued at $2,800 each. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. receives a government contract price and is able to purchase them for $950. They protect the K9 units from ballistic and stab wounds. The generous donation was made to VIK9s by PetArmor, the maker of flea and tick products and will equip all nine of Austin’s K9 units.
Vested Interest in K9s is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based out of East Taunton, Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, VIK9s has donated over 454 vests to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The funds for the vests are provided by donations which are collected through various fundraisers as well as standalone contributions. VIK9s also encourages holding fundraisers to pay for a K9 vest, where they allow the organizer to specify which law enforcement agency the vest will be donated to.
The K9 units are currently adjusting to the vests. Officer Jimmie Davenport, currently working with Wiley (pictured above), stated: “We are incorporating them into our training regimen. As with anything new, there is a period of adjustment to work out the kinks. Dogs being dogs, some accept it without issue and others not as readily.”
Officer Davenport also had this to add in regards to VIK9s: “I’m moved that there are people who are concerned for our partners to the point of providing such a vital piece of equipment to us. I hope to never “need” the vest’s protection. But it’s reassuring knowing it’s available to us. Again, we are grateful and humbled for being provided these vests for our partners.”
Anyone who is interested in VIK9s is encouraged to visit their Facebook page, Twitter Feed, LinkedIn profile, and Google+ page. Donations can also be submitted through VIK9s’s main website.
A 3-minute video about one of APD’s K9 units can be found here.
Three members of the Austin Alumni Association traveled to Arlington, Texas, to participate in the annual training convention July 24 – 27, 2013, for Citizen Police Academy (CPA) members and law enforcement personnel throughout Texas. The convention draws hundreds of attendees from both large and small cities and towns to participate in educational sessions to learn new techniques and processes, share ideas, and get suggestions on how to strengthen and enhance citizen and law enforcement programs and agencies. Convention attendees were welcomed by the Mayor and Police Chief of the City of Arlington and enjoyed the many learning opportunities provided.
Melinda Rodriguez, Dee Mickelson, and Susan Reed represented the Austin CPAAA and participated in varied sessions as Electronic Crimes Cyber-based Attacks, First Responder to a Crisis Situation, Texas Weapons Law, the Dallas Terrorist Bombing Incident, Solving a Murder, Active Shooter, Stranger Danger Adult Style, 501(c)(3) Operation, and Racial Profiling. In addition, one of the most valuable sessions attended was the CPA Roundtable where topic tables were facilitated by CPA Coordinators from around Texas to provide specific information on successful activities / programs and to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences among Alumni members. Among the topics were Meeting Topics and Speakers, Community Projects, and Fund Raisers.
The final session, “Chiefs’ Round Table,” was held on July 27, and included police chiefs and sheriffs from about eight communities in the North Texas area who addressed how they support and manage many of the activities, initiatives, and programs that are conducted by their CPA and Citizens On Patrol (COP) organizations. Recurring comments from the law enforcement officials regarding their CPA / COP programs were (1) the high degree of ability and talent available in their volunteers and utilizing these individuals in many ways throughout their departments; and (2) using CPA / COP programs to help law enforcement agencies be a part of the community rather than a segregated para-military organization separated from the citizens.