Open house

Ashley Grant works in the Burlington Police Department’s Telecommunications Unit taking 911 calls. The unit is just one of the areas that visitors can see at Saturday’s open house.

On Saturday, the Burlington Police Department will roll out the welcome mat to the community for an open house.

According to Emily-Lynn Adkins, public information officer for the BPD, this event is an opportunity for the community to get a look at their police department and for those interested in a career with the department to get an inside look at what it takes. The department has open positions for police officers and in the telecommunications unit.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much goes on at the department. Everyone sees our officers, but there are so many opportunities with the BPD folks might not know about. Saturday will be a great chance for people to see all of it,” she said.

She noted that there are also volunteer positions that are essential to the workings of the department, such as the Burlington Motorist Assistance Program, which will be on hand too.

She noted that the back lot of the police department will be cleared to make way for the day’s event.

There will be patrol vehicles, the SWAT truck, the CSI (crime scene investigations) van, traffic motorcycles, electric bikes and demonstrations by the drone unit and the K-9 officers. Officers and professional staff will also be available for questions.

“It’s like our touch-a-truck events. People can climb on the SWAT truck, look inside the CSI van and other vehicles, and talk to officers about what it takes to do their jobs,” Adkins said.

For those interested in becoming officers, there will be demonstrations of the activities that go into the Police Officer Physical Abilities Test, or POPAT, where officers go through a course that simulates the physical requirements needed for the job, including chase, apprehension and rescue. Components include running, roll drills with a 100-pound bag, push-ups, broad jumps, fence climbs and dragging a 175-pound dummy.

There will also be representatives from D.A.R.E, school resource officers, 911 operators and Crime Stoppers representatives.

Also, people can learn about applying for a ride-a-long with an officer and the departments sit-along program, where people can sit in and see what goes on with 911 calls.

“At the BPD, we are always looking for quality applicants. We have a large emphasis on intelligence-based investigations and policing. For instance, our Crime Analysis Unit takes in data and interprets trends. Officers use that data to police more proactively and engage the community differently,” Adkins said.

For the inside portion of the open house, visitors can tour the Telecommunications Department, Records Department and the training room.

“Our community has the opportunity to see some pretty cool things on the tour. They’ll get to see some of the technology we use on a daily basis, like drones, body cameras, license plate readers, tasers and so much more. This shows the importance of training, and we get to show off some really neat equipment too,” Adkins said.