North Charleston graduates Citizens Public Safety Academy

North Charleston graduates Citizens Public Safety Academy

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thursday night, North Charleston graduated its second class from the Citizens Public Safety Academy.

The class is designed to cut down on crime in North Charleston and help educate the community.

Donna Robinson has worked a desk job for the North Charleston Police Department for eight years but took the class to know more about the city.

"I learned a great bit about the responsibilities that our officers take," Robinson said. "Sometimes we take advantage of the fact that they're out there doing the things that they do and we don't know the background."

It's an 11-week program with three-hour classes, one night a week to teach citizens more about police, the fire department, building inspections and other city departments.

"A lot of people just turn on the TV shows and think that's what police officers do because they see cop shows, and it's not reality," Lt. William Johnson of the North Charleston Police Department said. "This way it will educate them, and they'll find out with firsthand experience what we do."

Robinson says while learning about things like forensics or the SWAT team were intense, other classes were a little more relaxed.

"The fun part was being able to play with the fire trucks, listening to the bells, being able to see my supervisor out there getting handcuffed and getting put in a police car," Robinson said.

She says the real benefit is being more informed and a bigger part of her community.

The next class will be in February.