Fifth class graduates from O’Fallon Citizens Police Academy

The graduates of session five, from left: Front Row - Tina Koch, Helen Smith, Lisa Bennion, Sharon Cheadle, Jennafer Purdy, Lindsey Lester-Brutscher, Sharon Foster, Kathy Rutledge, Sandra Taylor, and Linda Pixton.  Back Row - Capt. Mark Berry, Capt. James Cavins, 911 Operator Michelle Foster, Richard Van Etten, David Snyder, Robert Winkler, Sgt. Craig Koch, Jonas Patterson, Derek Hartman, Thomas Kazmierczak, Paull Cleary, David Scharven, David Taylor, Lt. Kirk Brueggeman, Lee Niehaus, Sgt. Michael Mojzis, Chris Pixton, EMS Supv. Kim Lamprecht, Chief Eric Van Hook, and Lt. Rob Schmidtke.  (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

The graduates of session five, from left: Front Row – Tina Koch, Helen Smith, Lisa Bennion, Sharon Cheadle, Jennafer Purdy, Lindsey Lester-Brutscher, Sharon Foster, Kathy Rutledge, Sandra Taylor, and Linda Pixton. Back Row – Capt. Mark Berry, Capt. James Cavins, 911 Operator Michelle Foster, Richard Van Etten, David Snyder, Robert Winkler, Sgt. Craig Koch, Jonas Patterson, Derek Hartman, Thomas Kazmierczak, Paull Cleary, David Scharven, David Taylor, Lt. Kirk Brueggeman, Lee Niehaus, Sgt. Michael Mojzis, Chris Pixton, EMS Supv. Kim Lamprecht, Chief Eric Van Hook, and Lt. Rob Schmidtke.  (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Police Department is proud to announce the graduation of the fifth session of the Citizen Police Academy on October 25, 2016. The Academy is designed to give participants a realistic view of the day to day operations of public safety work by providing instruction, practical’s and education on numerous topics. These dedicated citizens experienced 11 classes in eight weeks and learned about:

  • Agency History and Structure
  • Police Operations
  • Patrol Tactics
  • Traffic Stops/DUI
  • Current Drug Trends
  • General Investigations
  • Firearm Training/Simulator
  • Response to Resistance
  • CPR and AED Training
  • Fire Safety/ Demos
  • Major Case Squad
  • 911 Communications
  • An eight-hour Ride-A-Long with an Officer

Special guests included St Clair Co. States Attorney Brendan Kelly, Asst Attorney General Ella York, Greg Cueto U. S. Attorney’s Office, Director Van Muschler SWIC Police Academy and Director David Hayes Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission.

The Citizens Academy was developed and implemented through the efforts of Captain Mark Berry, who retired from the O’Fallon Police Department on Thursday. Berry said he was proud to see the program thrive.

“Seventy-five percent of the participants in session five were referred to the program by someone else who had gone through it previously. You can’t get better word of mouth than that,” Berry said.

Lieutenant Kirk Brueggeman will take over the Citizens Police Academy and Berry said the program couldn’t be in better hands.

“He’s got a ton of energy and great ideas. Hopefully he’ll be able to take what we’ve done so far and make it even better,” Berry said.

As a way to thank Captain Berry and the O’Fallon area first responders, the members of session five collected donations and raised enough to give checks totaling $140 each to the police department, fire department, and EMS.

Berry told the class that one of the things he’s most proud of is that between the five sessions, nearly $5,000 has been raised and donated to Backstoppers, an organization that provides financial support to the spouses and dependent children of all police officers, firefighters and volunteer firefighters, and publicly-funded paramedics and EMTs in the area who lost their lives or suffered a catastrophic injury in the line of duty.