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Darien Police Call Citizen’s Academy A Success

Darien Police Officer Nicholas Aranzullo and K-9 officer "Zulu" give a demonstration during the department's recent Citizen's Police Academy. Photo Credit: Darien Police Department
One of the adult students in the Darien Police Department shooting range during the recent Citizen's Police Academy. Photo Credit: Darien Police Department

DARIEN, Conn. – The Darien Police Department recently completed its first Citizen’s Police Academy, a six-week crash course on how the department operates.

The class was a success and will be repeated again in the fall, said Det. Mark Cappelli, who organized it.

The free course was held on Thursday nights for 90 minutes per session, and covered the history of the department, traffic enforcement and accident investigations, the K-9 Unit and domestic violence and criminal justice, among other topics. All of the classes were held at police headquarters on Hecker Avenue.

“People really enjoyed it,” said Cappelli, adding he turned to New Canaan and Milford for ideas on what to include because those departments have held similar academies for adults. “We’ve been doing something similar with kids for the last six years, but this was the first time we focused on educating adults.”

Twelve residents and business owners took the class, but when it starts again in the fall, Cappelli said he hopes to have 20 participants. Also in the fall, the detective said he will extend an invitation to Darien’s elected officials to take the course.

While most of the presentations were handled in-house by members of the Darien force, Cappelli enlisted Assistant State’s Attorney Rich Colangelo to teach the criminal justice and domestic violence portion.

The participants were also allowed to shoot guns in the department’s shooting range. “For many of them, this was the first time they’d handled a gun,” said Cappelli.

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