Take it from attendee Jack Hollister who said:
"I recently completed the Community Members Academy at the EPD. I would like to provide some feedback and would greatly appreciate it if you would share with the officers and other staff of the EPD.
This class has had a profound impact on my perception of law enforcement in general and EPD in particular. Going into the class I felt that law enforcement were people trying to earn a living for themselves and their families by doing an incredibly important, sometimes dangerous, and very often thankless job. The class gave me an opportunity to learn that it really goes much deeper. I also learned that the officers are not generic clones, but very much diverse individuals with their own lives and viewpoints, not unlike everybody else.
I must admit that I had misgivings about committing three hours per week for nine weeks to this. Turns out, it was about twice that. Every class answered questions that I didn't know I had, then afterwards I spent at least an equal amount of time doing further research. I did not agree with everything that I heard there, but I certainly came to appreciate and respect the viewpoint of those I disagreed with. I was not bored for a minute.
The scenarios were very much eye opening, the actors excellent! The adrenaline high from what I logically know is a contrived situation with actors and rubber guns certainly gives me at least a glimmer of what daily life has to be like for you. Constantly being on alert for something that will probably never happen must be intense.
I would like to single out every person involved in this Academy for special mention, you were all engaging, interesting and thought-provoking.
When I told friends and family that I was in the academy, their first response was"why are you doing it?" Second response was "do I need to live in Erie to attend?" Third reaction was "wonder if my municipality does something like that?"