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by Jessica Goolsby, staff writer

Put your hands where she can see them, folks: Melanie Guenthenspberger has just graduated from the Honolulu Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy.

Guenthenspberger graduated Oct. 29 from the 27th Citizens Police Academy (CPA) as the valedictorian speaker and as one of 12 to complete the program. Graduates were applauded by the Honolulu chief of police, police commissioners, family, and friends as they received their certificates and smiled for the cameras.

“ CPA was fun because I learned a lot for my future job and at the same time fulfilled one part of my practicum requirement at HPU,” she said.

Guenthenspberger, a junior at HPU, plans to graduate in the summer of 2010 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in justice administration. She hopes to become a police officer and eventually a detective in the future. She was also recently announced as a runner-up in this year’s CinCHouse.com Scholarship for Military Spouses, making her the only recipient from Hawai‘i and the lucky winner of $1,000 to put towards her education.

According to the Honolulu Police Department’s Web site, CPA began in 1994 and is a police department interactive program designed to educate the public about its departmental policies, operational procedures, the criminal justice system, and ways to reduce crime. CPA allows members of HPD and citizens of O‘ahu to join in a partnership to share ideas and information, and interact in a very positive and proactive setting.

CPA participants meet one night a week for three hours and two Saturdays over a 12-week period. The majority of the sessions are held at the Honolulu Police Department’s Alapai Headquarters at 801 S. Beretania St. Other locations include the Koko Head Pistol Range and Ke Kula Makai, HPD’s training facility in Waipahu.

A variety of topics are covered including (but not limited to): firearms, communications, report writing, police vehicle operations, domestic violence, crime scene investigation, and community policing. Training included briefs on vehicular homicide, domestic violence, narcotics, citations, criminal investigations, the mechanics of an arrest, gang recognition, evidence recovery, personal safety, and firearms training — just to name a few.

For more information contact HPD’s Community Affairs Section at 529-3351 or visit www.honolulupd.org.

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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