Citizens’ Academy finishes with casual graduation


The three-month Westfield Police Dept. Citizens’ Academy class ended Oct. 26 with a casual graduation ceremony at Grand Park Events Center with the members of our class and WPD staff.

Chief Joel Rush, left, and Lt. Mike Seagrave pause with the gift from the 2017 Citizens’ Academy class to the Westfield Police Dept. (Submitted photo)

During the evening, we shared laughs and listened to a presentation from Lt. Mike Seagrave. Each graduate received a certificate and a challenge coin with the WPD emblem on it. The class also presented the WPD with a gift – a shadow box featuring Current articles highlighting each course, bullet casings, a blue ribbon to symbolize the Thin Blue Line, shotgun shells, a WPD patch, an engraving, a tennis ball and the Taser cartridge that was discharged into yours truly.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to each member of the department – those who are responsible for the program as well as the officers responsible for protecting Westfield’s streets.

I would strongly encourage all citizens to consider taking this course, just to come to a better understanding of how such a functional department operates throughout the city. I eagerly took each opportunity presented to me as I was relaying my experience to all of Current’s readers, but the Citizens’ Academy instructors made sure each participant was comfortable. Participants are not required to get tased or shoot a gun to graduate.

In total, the academy was thrilling and eye-opening. It was truly enlightening to experience first-hand a tiny fraction of what officers see and do in training and then have to apply in real-life situations. If other organizations offer similar courses to provide citizens with an inside look and are interested in allowing me to experience the course as a journalist and relay it through Current articles, email me at


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