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Police academy now in session

Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese addresses police academy students Thursday evening.

Over the next eight weeks, 12 people from various walks of life will take an in-depth look at the daily lives of police officers as part of the Demopolis Citizen’s Police Academy.

Aretha Muhammad and her husband, Winston, both signed up for the class.

“I came to the previous classes’ graduation, and the things they covered looked interesting to me, so I decided to take the class with my husband,” Muhammad said.

Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese started the academy in 2010, a year after he joined the force as chief.

Reese said the program helps connect officers with community members. This fall’s class will be the second one this year and the fifth since the program’s inception.

“This is a great program, and I think the students will enjoy it,” Reese said. “They will get several different opportunities including participating in a ride along, learning self-defense and going to the firing range.”

The kick-off class Thursday evening included a welcome and overview of the course from Reese.

Sgt. Monica Oliver also gave a Powerpoint presentation, which highlighted the history of the Demopolis Police Department. Another video showed police officers from across the nation who killed or injured in the line of duty

“This class will give citizens the chance to learn more about police officers and why they do what they do,” Reese said.

The students completed applications to be a part of the class that will meet weekly on Thursdays. The next class will begin in 2013.