by Gina Sestak
For the past several months, Annette has been posting every week about the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Citizen Police Academy (CPA) which both of us have been attending. [I am not the fellow student who volunteered Annette to shake hands with the Bomb Squad's robot. Honest!] At long last, the time has come for us to graduate. Tonight there will be a ceremony, then this year's first session of the CPA will be over. All except the ride along.
The what? you may ask. Everyone who's seen that episode of Raymond knows dangerous things can happen on a ride along. Don't worry, though. We signed releases. Your tax dollars will be safe.
I'm going to miss the weekly classes. Where else can you handle an assault weapon, search for hidden explosives, watch a K-9 in action, or visit a crime lab without having to pass a test or take a job? The police personnel themselves were also an eye opener. I mean, some of these guys, if you saw them coming toward you, you would tuck your purse securely under your arm and cross to the far side of the street! Maybe it's just the dreadlocks and the neck tattoos. But all -- every single one of them -- was an expert in his or her field, able to speak knowledgeably about national statistics and cutting edge science as well as their own local areas of expertise. Pittsburgh police are real professionals.
So here's your chance -- you can help catch dangerous criminals and graffiti artists: http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/html/most_wanted.html
Or, you can take the fall CPA class. Come on. I dare you.