The Gulfport Police Department has graciously invited citizens to learn more about the department's operations, policies, procedures and more! The Citizens Police Academy is an 8-week course with class time, demonstrations and a ride along. Now, during my first week, I wrote about learning what it takes to apply to become an officer for Gulfport. This week, we learned about three topics: GPD Records and Crime Analysis, Communications and K9 Operations.
Now, be sure to watch the video attached to this article and watch as Cosmo and his handler Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Livernois demonstrate how to walk with the handler, find a bomb and chase after a "suspect." Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Viano is also a member of the K9 Unit and explained the demonstrations. Viano also posed as the "suspect" during the last demo.
Here's a brief overview of our topics!
GPD Records/Crime Analysis
Margaret Palmisano explained what records are public, how long they are kept and how they are disposed. For example, emergency communications, inmate records and juvenile offenders are not public. Capital Life Felony records are kept for 100 years after the offense is committed. Unsolved missing person or runaway records are also kept for 100 years.
Palmisano also explained the different types of crime analysis; administrative, tactical and strategic. An example of tactical analysis would be looking for patterns and series of analysis and forecasting using information such as offense reports, arrest reports and dispatch logs.
Communications Division Commander Lt. James Bordner with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office shared behind the scene information and stats of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Communications Center. The PCSO Communications Center provides dispatch services for the Gulfport Police Department and answers all calls made to 893-1030.
Bordner says the PCSO Communications Center receives about 450,000 calls a year. He explained that many of the public safety telecommunicators have been there for decades and about a dozen new hires and being training right now. In all, there's about 75 staff members at the center. Bordner was also joined by a shift supervisor names Julie. Julie pulled up the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office website and pointed out where citizens can view active calls.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputies Jacob Viano and Robert Livernois joined the class and explained how dogs help with tracking, clearing buildings, searching for drugs, bombs and missing persons. Currently, there are 12 dogs in the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit. Deputy Livernois has been paired with Cosmo for about 7 years. Cosmo is Livernois' third dog in the K9 Unit. Watch our video to see Cosmo search for a bomb and catch a suspect.
That's it for this week, see you all next week after my third class.