With the crummy weather over the Memorial Day weekend I spent too much time in front of the TV. I didn’t realize how many police shows there are now. Much to my disappointment every police show was about a dramatic event often focused on rogue or very misguided police officers. The only resemblance to real policing was the uniforms and squad cars. I could only watch these shows for a little while before I had to turn it off. America’s fascination with the police is great on one hand, but when it comes to media portrayal of police officers it could not be further from reality. Let’s take use of force. In Duluth, our staff literally has millions of interactions with those we serve. Of those millions of interactions we use force only a tiny fraction of the time. You watch one of the police TV dramas and you are going to see force and police shootings in most episodes. After seeing several terrible depictions of our nation’s police on the TV dramas I rounded it out with the recent release “Rampart” starring Woody Harellson. What a waste of time! Again, police were depicted as dishonest, racist and brutal. This movie was so absurd I could only shake my head. Unfortunately, Rampart was one of the top rented movies in May.
So what does our police department do to help show the public what we are really about? We offer the Citizen Police Academy twice a year. This is an opportunity for the public to come in and see the department from the inside out. You get to meet and interact with our staff and see what police do and why the do it. If you are interested in receiving more information about the academy, contact Mike at 730-5040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org