Traditional Values, Progressive Thinking – O’Fallon Police offer many ways to get involved

Mayor Gary Graham

Mayor Gary Graham

O’Fallon is very lucky to have a great group of dedicated public safety officers that provide every resident, visitor and business in the City the comfort of a safe and secure location to live, work, and play in. Our Public Safety Department is top notch and is dedicated to making O’Fallon one of the safest communities around.

Beginning on September 6, 2016, The O’Fallon Police Department will be hosting the 5th Annual Citizen Police Academy. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Public Safety Facility (285 N. Seven Hills Road) and will run through 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 and education on numerous topics.

The Academy is open to O’Fallon citizens and anyone working in the O’Fallon area. Due to the nature of the course and curriculum, individuals with prior felony and/or certain misdemeanor charges or convictions will be declined. Participants must be 21 years of age or older. There is a tax deductible $25 course fee; that will be donated to “The BACKSTOPPERS, Inc.”.

The Academy will be taught by employees of the O’Fallon Public Safety Department and guest speakers from other agencies. Participants will be introduced to the structure of the Public Safety Department as well as basic information that all police officers must know to perform their jobs.  Topics will include, but are not limited to:

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

If you would like to participate in the Citizens Police Academy, applications can be picked up at the Public Safety Facility or printed from our website at www.ofallon.org/citizens-police-academy and are due no later than August 13th. The program is open to the first 20 qualified applicants and the spots fill up quickly. So, if you are interested, please hurry and submit your application at the Public Safety Facility as quickly as possible.

If you have questions regarding the Citizen Police Academy, I encourage you to contact the Academy Coordinator, Captain Mark Berry at (618) 624-9512 or via email at mberry@ofallon.org.

The Citizens Police Academy is not the only way you can get involved. O’Fallon also has a successful neighborhood watch program. The O’Fallon Neighborhood Watch Program stresses two-way communication between O’Fallon’s residents and the O’Fallon Police Department as well as periodic informational meetings meant to help residents stay informed on how their assistance can help prevent criminal activity.

New to the Neighborhood Watch Program this year, is the Nextdoor Program. With Nextdoor, O’Fallon residents can join private neighborhood websites to share information, including neighborhood public safety issues, community events and activities, local services, and even lost pets. The City and Police Department is able to post information, such as important news, services, programs, public events, and emergency notifications to Nextdoor websites within the city and service areas.

This integration with Nextdoor enables the City of O’Fallon and the O’Fallon Police Department to use Nextdoor to build stronger, safer communities with the help of residents. The O’Fallon Police Department and Nextdoor neighborhoods will be able to work together to increase safety and strengthen virtual neighborhood watch efforts.

Those interested in joining their neighborhood’s Nextdoor website can visit www.nextdoor.com and enter their address. If residents have questions about their Nextdoor website, please visit www.help.nextdoor.com.

Members of the neighborhood watch serve as the O’Fallon Police Department’s eyes and ears within the community by alerting officers of suspicious and dangerous activity. O’Fallon’s neighborhoods benefit from these types of partnerships through the reduction of crime and increased quality of life. A determined burglar can defeat the best alarm system, but they cannot defeat an organized community with a common goal of crime prevention.

The neighborhood watch program allows for the O’Fallon Police Department and residents to work together in a friendly format toward the common goal of preventing crime in the community.

The O’Fallon Police Department is always looking for more residents who would like to join or create a neighborhood watch program. If you would like to join or create one in your neighborhood, please contact Detective William Barlock at 618.624.4545 or via email at wbarlock@ofallon.org.

The health and safety of our residents and their loved ones is very important to me and by working together we can make sure that everyone remains safe. The strong working relationship between City Hall and the residents we serve is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.