Ain't nothin' like the real thing—or something pretty close to it—for students of the justice program at the Community College of Baltimore County's Dundalk campus.
The latest class of Baltimore County's 30th Citizen's Police Academy brought a group of us to Dundalk Tuesday for an opportunity to train for "calls to service" first-hand.
Our tasks? To respond to a domestic dispute in a bank, drugs found in a teenager's bedroom, a bar patron with a gun and a gas station patron ripping up magazines.
"You're always doing this!" Det. Jim Skidmore shouted at his scenario-wife Sarah Lentz, who began hitting him in a bank after he forget a check for the umpteenth time. Students-turned-officers responded by confirming their relationship and eventually charging Lentz with assault.
Students based their actions on whether a suspect offered them reasonable suspicion, indications that something criminal was afoot, or probable cause, such as when a bartender or a parent serves as a witness.
See our photo gallery on the right for your own sneak peek at what a police officer's call to service can entail.