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Conway Citizens Police Program educates community

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 9:11 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County residents have the chance to learn what it’s like in the shoes of a police officer.

The Conway Police Department is accepting applications for its seventh Citizens Police Academy session.

“You have to expect the unexpected, and you just never know what you’re going to encounter,” said Councilman William Goldfinch, of Conway City Council.

Goldfinch is a graduate of the program.

Several years ago, the Conway Police Department created a seven-week program for people to learn about the training police officers receive.

“They get to see from the front seat of the police car, the things we encounter, the things that we do,” said Dale Long, the Conway Chief of Police. “So they learn the book side of it, ask the questions, and then they get to go see the practical application of it in the community,” said long.

The application criteria include:

  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old.
  • Applicants must undergo a background investigation and a criminal history check.
  • Applicants must attend the weekly meetings.
  • All academy attendees must complete ride-along and work-along time with Conway police officers and personnel to graduate.

Students will arrange these sessions at their convenience, in advance

“It could be anything from a routine traffic stop, or life or death situation, and so it’s just a reminder that we never know what’s in front of us, and we have to keep going,” said Goldfinch.

In addition to the ride-along, participants also have a chance to learn other aspects of policing from K-9 patrol, detective, and crime scene training.

The sessions will be held weekly on Thursdays from si6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Conway Police Department, 1600 Ninth Avenue.

Long said graduates can take what they’ve learned and share with others around the community.

“A more informed and educated public, they’re just multiplying our ability in the community to have real truthful information out there about how we do things.”

The class size is limited to 12 attendees, and residents of Conway will receive priority.

Applications for the upcoming session will be accepted until July 25.

Visit www.cityofconway.com to complete an application.

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