Their job is to protect and serve. But what is it really like to be a police officer in the Metro? I had the chance to find out, completing the Citizens Police Academy, a 12-week course any of us can take for free. And it was an eye opener.
"The knowledge they get from attending this will give them a new insight to what our jobs are. Why we do the things we do and how we do them," said Oklahoma City Police Lt., Pat Pollman.
One night at the firearms training facility showed me just how dangerous an officers' job can be. We witnessed K-9 unit scenario, saw how the tactical unit responds to stand offs and even watched officers blow things up.
A lot of the course was spent inside the classroom. We learned about laws of arrest, officer safety techniques and what it takes to investigate anything from a drug case to a fatal wreck. Not only was I impressed, my classmates also learned more than they expected.
"It's very interesting," Mel Hollis said. "We found out a lot of things about the police department we did not know and it's a lot deeper than what people would think."
"Not only do we see behind the scenes with investigations, we were in the cars. We're out there driving. We're seeing what's going on. We're out at the range. We're paying attention to what the officers do. We're seeing it from a different perspective," said EJ Warren.
"We have some of the finest police officers in the United States right here in Oklahoma City," Pollman said. "I think the person who has the opportunity to come to this Citizens Academy will see just how good those officers are."