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Department, as well as the Alamo and Blackhawk neighborhoods are actually part of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. These local entities contract with the County to furnish police protection to their respective areas. The advantages of these contractual arrangements are numerous. The County is able to furnish well-trained, seasoned officers who rotate through the region. In addition, they provide the backup and support of a larger entity with resources not financially feasible for the locales. These resources include a professional crime lab, SWAT teams, three detention facilities, and a major communication network which covers a wide area. Our small towns have access to a major police department. The next thing Darren found was that he needed a lot of education before he could even be considered as a VIPS. Potentially harmful situations might be encountered, or conditions could prove legally detrimental to the Town. This education was to be obtained by attending a series of classes conducted by the Danville Police Department and known as the Danville Police Citizens’ Academy. Darren was up for this and immediately enrolled in the next academy. Thankfully the wait wasn’t long as two such classes were held each year. The classes weren’t simple. They extended over a multi-week period and were comprised of six three-hour evening sessions and two eight-hour Saturday events, but they were both interesting and proved to be exciting. The two Saturdays included tours and activities that were a part of the regular officer training program. They visited the Martinez Detention Facility – thankfully as visitors not criminals. The class was allowed to drive regular patrol cars around the county test track – very exciting. Think about getting into a black and white and racing around the course! They toured the shooting range, and the class was permitted to fire weapons similar to those used by the officers. In the training facility in Concord, attendees were presented with potential real-life situations. The students were placed about twelve feet from a very large wall screen upon which potentially-threatening situations were displayed in video form. Class members demonstrated their ability to respond to these circumstances with the best possible snap decision. They learn a lot about themselves when placed in hazardous situations. The county-wide dispatch facility was also on the list. This is where 911 calls are taken and relayed to the officers in the field. The evening classes were equally informative. Deputy District Attorneys from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office spoke on the need for factual reports being received from the officers. These reports could then be used to win convictions. The time between arrests and trials is often long, and these reports help refresh officers’ memories. Regular beat officers spoke about how DUIs were handled. Detectives shared investigative information into non-violent crimes which had occurred, such as identity theft. Police sergeants and officers spoke about the procedures that were used in high-speed chases and how the different police jurisdictions cooperated when needed. Actual videos were shown of routine traffic stops and how they could suddenly turn into gravely dangerous


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