La Habra Police Department Explorers posed as actors on a recent Wednesday night to give the two dozen members of La Habra’s latest Citizens’ Academy a chance to learn what it is like for officers to tackle domestic dispute calls.
The scenarios were orchestrated by La Habra Officers Jason Sanchez and Noah Daniels, as well as longtime Communications Operator David Gonzalez, and carried out by high school teens who are members of the department’s Explorers Post 850. The academy members were instructed on the proper way to intervene in disputes and what resolutions should occur.
In one scenario, the academy members intervened because two young women got into a fight after a boyfriend looked at one the wrong way. One of the women allegedly threw a bottle at her friend.
“So do we need to make an arrest?” asked Daniels.
That wasn’t necessary, said Todd and Sharon Frazier, two members of the Citizens’ Academy and longtime residents of La Habra, who separated the two women and interviewed the boyfriend.
The Fraziers moved to La Habra in 1978 and, with their children grown, one of whom is a Los Angeles County Sheriff deputy, they said the time was right to take this course.
“I basically wanted to learn more about what goes on in our city,” Sharon Frazier said. “It’s been very informative. I’m learning a lot of things. We are seeing every facet of the police department, not just the police officers.”
In the first four weeks of this six weeks course, the academy members have heard from Chief Jerry Price, taken a tour of the department, learned about the gang unit, as well as all aspects of the Traffic Division, including CSI, crime scene investigations, which was a big hit.
Sanchez, who is a school resources officer, gave them a first-hand look into what it is like to be on patrol at one of the local elementary or junior high schools. He also gave them a crash course on the Explorer program, which can serve as a great entryway into police work.
Students in the Academy also saw first-hand how the department’s K-9 and SWAT units work with a demonstration in week five.
Resident and academy member Dawn Holthouser appreciates the lessons.
“I’m learning more about the police department than I ever thought I would,” she said.