NEGAUNEE — Week three of the Citizen’s Academy kicked off this morning with some active discussion about use of force and personal safety.
There was a slight change of venue for Wednesday’s class, but the message was still the same: explain the services the Michigan State Police provides to the areas they cover. The session focused on the use of force by officers and personal safety for citizens. During the presentation, questions regarding the use of tasers, stun guns, pepper spray and batons were heavily emphasized.
“People are interested about the tools we carry each day and I think that’s why it comes out is that they want to know when they can be used. Are they used every day? Probably not. We deescalate situations with just words. That’s typically what happens, but again, if we need to, we have the tools and we use the tools when necessary,” said Trooper Stacey Rasanen of the Michigan State Police Negaunee Post.
Troopers in attendance explained circumstances in which each are necessary, but focused on the subject control continuum of escalation and de-escalation, which is situation and subject dependent. Following that presentation was another regarding personal safety and how citizens can protect themselves. Questions of personal protection, such as open-carry and concealed-carry laws, were asked of the troopers, who explained the difference between the two, area demographics of where each is allowed as well as situations in which gun usage would be necessary for a citizen.
Both topics have been the epicenter of law enforcement discussions around the country for the last few years.
“What we’re hoping is citizens that attend our academy will go out and educate the public so that when something comes up, and people don’t have the correct information, they can say ‘hey, I attended that academy and this is the correct information,” Rasanen said.
Following the in class-portion was a demonstration by an MSP motor carrier officer who explained his job as well as the different equipment in his car. The group gathered and discussed traffic violations and techniques used by troopers when conducting a traffic stop.
Next week, home safety and preventing breaking and entering will be discussed.