Seniors Police Academy deemed success

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Graduation ceremony

AMHERST – They didn’t get to pat down perps, but “cadets” who attended the Seniors Police Academy in Amherst – which wrapped up today at the Lions Club – got to see a taser demonstrated, and two of them got to pull the trigger.

“This is our very first police academy, so having 18 (participants) is a really good number,” said Const. Tom Wood of the Amherst Police Department.

The program ran Wednesday six weeks in a row, with two seminars each week, according to Cheryl Laliberte, senior safety coordinator.

The organizer said they asked for feedback from participants after each Wednesday. The most popular presentations were interactive.

“They really liked the taser,” she said.

The 12 topics covered ranged from self defence, and falls prevention, to dementia, and safe banking.

The feedback she received indicated participants would return for another academy offering new topics.

“I like it all,” said Cheryl Canning, cadet and aunt of Laliberte.

“It just sounded like something I’d like to be more informed (about).”

Chester and Gail Kaye were there on the advice of their son-in-law.

“I thought it was very interesting,” said the husband.

“It has been very enjoyable,” said Gail. “We learned a lot.”

Const. Wood said attendance was consistent. If there was a surprise running the academy, it was the lack of surprises: it may have been a new thing for the community, but it ran smoothly, according to the policeman.

Information on frauds was particularly well received, said Wood. He echoed the popularity of the taser. And self-defense was a hit. 

“They were very interested in it,” he said.

Depending on funding, the academy may gear up again for a winter session. Wood expressed his thanks to those who contributed to the program, among them the Lions, who donated their club space.

Organizations: Seniors Police Academy, Lions Club, Amherst Police Department

Geographic location: AMHERST

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