HAYWARD -- Residents can learn how the police department works at the upcoming Community Academy, which starts Feb. 19.

The academy runs for nine weeks, and covers such topics as narcotics, gangs, police patrol structure, ethics, K9, SWAT, 911, personal safety, robberies and the Neighborhood Alert Program.

The police department has been running the academies for a little more than 10 years, said Gale Bleth, Hayward crime prevention specialist.

"We encourage everyone to attend all nine weeks, especially our block captains; they will get a certificate of completion," she said. "Those who are able to attend only some sessions get certificates of participation."

After attending the academy, block captains act as liaisons between police and Neighborhood Watch groups. "They can better understand about priorities" and why police sometimes don't show up immediately, Bleth said.

Registration ends Feb. 15, and there are a limited number of spaces. Those wanting to attend may contact Bleth at 510-293-7151 or Gale.Bleth@hayward-ca.gov or Mary Fabian at 510-293-1043 or mary.fabian@hayward-ca.gov.



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