The members of the most recent class to graduate from Maryville Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy had a distinct advantage over other academy classes. They got to spend more time with police officers than previous participants did.
The members of the class that graduated Nov. 15 are the spouses of officers in the Maryville Police Department.
Sgt. Jason Barham and officer Brett Hall led the 10-week course. The classes showed the spouses what their husbands/wives do in the line of duty from day to day.
Barham said the classes were a good networking opportunity for the members to make friends with individuals who share the same concerns for their spouses - making sure they come home safe after each shift. “Plus, it gave them a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes,” Barham said. “It’s a normal Citizens’ Police Academy.”
Barham’s wife, Jessica, said she enjoyed the classes. “I think it was a great idea. The only time we got together before (as spouses) was at Christmas,” she said.
DeeAnna Hall, wife of officer Brett Hall, was impressed with what she saw. “It gives you more respect for what they do day-in and day-out,” she said. “It’s a lot of stuff you didn’t realize they had to do. It just opens your eyes.”
Phyllis Crisp, wife of Chief Tony Crisp, said she thought she knew everything that went on in a police department, but found she didn’t. “It’s been a great class. It’s a lot larger department that what we started out with,” she said. “It’s just a great bunch of girls and guys.”
Chief Crisp addressed the group and credited Barham for the thought behind the class. “We’ve had spouses who have come through the CPA classes before, but the idea of a class just for spouses was something Sgt. Barham just kept proposing as a good idea and it was,” Crisp said. “Our hope was that you would not only learn more about what your spouses do everyday, but that you would get to know each other a little better and would form a bond as spouses.”
Candy Cooke addressed the group on behalf of the spouses.
“I am here to tell Jason and Brett and the other officers, on behalf of the class, that your mission was accomplished. We not only grew together as a class, but formed a bond as spouses. We learned a lot about police work -- some things we knew but others we didn’t know. We just wanted to say ‘Thank You,’ for this opportunity and for this class,” Cooke said.