The Peoples Perspective Euclid Citizens Police Academy

As a citizen and member of our community, I was given the great opportunity to attend and graduate from the Euclid Citizens Police Academy.

First and foremost, kudos to the City of Euclid and the Euclid Police Dept. For this program and your concern for public safety. It was a fast 10 weeks of fast action-packed policing education at its finest by our finest.

We and I think I speak for my class; all came away with a much deeper appreciation and respect for our police force and what officers do daily. We as citizens have no idea, and I mean no clue, as to the life of a police officer. Every day they show up for work, they risk life and limb for you and me. Police work never takes a break, it is 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These people are of a special kind of person, they care about their community and its surroundings, they take to heart everyone’s safety and security. For this I am eternally grateful.

During our first class we were introduced to Molly Miktarian her husband, Patrol Officer Joshua T. Miktarian was killed in the line of duty. Mrs. Miktarian is a strong woman, she has faced tragedy head on, and continues to publicly speak on his behalf and the Joshua T. Miktarian Memorial Scholarship Fund. Officer Miktarian was killed (shot in the head) in a routine traffic stop. For me, I hurt, I cried, I swallowed hard - reality set in. This beautiful woman and her 3-month-old baby daughter lost her husband and daddy. So, you see, a day in the life of a police officer started out way more than I ever bargained for. 

Day 2 - We get to visit the Chagrin Valley Dispatch Center where all calls are handled. Very impressive bat cave, they have tv screens a plenty.  We were introduced to Casey a long-time veteran of over 20 plus years. What I learn here "citizens don’t call to share their happiest day with them, but rather their worst! and "no one calls 911 to invite the police to a BBQ for their daughter’s wedding" The dispatcher dispatches the police to the location of the occurrence. Information is of the upmost importance to the dispatcher, so please speak, clearly and calmly and give them as much information as possible.

When the call comes into dispatch center, the dispatcher will try to obtain as much information as possible. An officer’s life depends on it. Name, address and incident description. Give as much information to the dispatcher as possible, what the suspect is wearing, shirt pants, shoes, hat colors of clothing, hair, skin, height, weight, special identifying marks, exact location, any firearms involved, numbers of people in a home, outside a store, involved in an accident. Where, when, why and who, it’s that important!

Day 3 Rules and regulations with Patrol Officer George Patnagiolay and Patrol Officer Lou Catalani. Now policy and procedure/rules and regulations may not seem to be the most exciting topic, but here is the lesson "the prevention of crime is every citizen's duty, and this begins with voluntary compliance with the law". In my words it means we the people, should know right from wrong, and if you do a wrong, there is a consequence.  Examples, we all know that speeding is wrong, robbing your neighbor is wrong, drunk driving is wrong, dealing drugs is wrong, jaywalking is wrong. Consequence can be a warning to serious fines and or jail time. So be diligent and practice good citizenship. Live a life of right versus a life of wrong. 

My ride along with Patrol Officer Alex. A call comes in, Al answers back, "Car 2 responding" We as citizens have no idea the heartbeat racing and vroom the cruiser kicked in an we were off. My heart was pounding I had very little idea where, what or even why, but we were responding to a citizens call for help. Upon arrival, all went well, and officer Al solved the problem and we were back on patrol. That is just an ordinary call. An officer walks into the unknown every day, just pulling people over today is dangerous, especially with conceal and open carry laws. 

We all got to ride along with a patrol officer one time for 4 hours. Thanks, Alex it was an enjoyable and educational evening. On my ride along and on all our stops, I literally stayed locked inside the squad car, prepared to act calmly and quickly (mind racing). All calls were handled very professionally, and issues were figured out on site and finalized prior to leaving.  That’s good police work there buddy boy.

We learned the daily life of a widowed officer’s wife (Officer Miktarian’s wife), a dispatcher view (Casey). a detective’s view, patrol officers, sergeants, lieutenants, and even the chief. 

As citizens we never consider or give thought to crime, and or criminals. Stop for a moment and consider, someone responds to all calls, be it a jaywalker or a murderer. Image arriving at a fatal accident or one where the people need emergency assistance? Can you image yourself speaking to a rape victim or arresting a rapist? Can you see yourself at one in the morning responding to a domestic situation? Can you image giving Narcan to a person who has overdosed and understanding an opioids characteristic, and make sure the stuff is nowhere near you for your own safety? How about negotiating with a suicidal person or catching a fentanyl ring of dealers?

We the people have no clue what can and does happen in the daily life of a police officer. With great appreciation and admiration, We the class of 2019 wish to personally thank the following: Our teacher, Lt. Mitch Houser, Chief Scott Meyer, Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, Ed Bonchak, Kate McLaughlin, George Patnagiolay, Lou Catalani, and Josh McDonald.

Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 8:51 AM, 07.30.2019