Police work 101: Of weighty tool belts, and “deadly force” situations

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Manchester Police Officer Mark Ampuja and Paul Rondeau take members of the 24th Citizens Police Academy class into the firing range to talk about why those little wooden booths you see in movies are obsolete, why a police officer will only shoot  with deadly force when necessary.

On Wednesday night 21 residents gathered inside the community room of the new police headquarters on Valley Road for the first of eight sessions of the 24th Citizens Police Academy.

The program is a community outreach designed to provide residents with an inside look at the rigors of police work, and how the different departments operate.

Officer Mark Ampuja, right, with members of the Citizens Police Academy in the department's firing range.
Officer Mark Ampuja, right, with members of the Citizens Police Academy in the department’s firing range.

In the above videos, filmed during a tour of the basement firing range, you can get an idea of some of the information Police Officers Paul Rondeau and Mark Ampuja provided, including the anatomy of a bullet, the painful but effective use of Tasers, and why police officers will only use their service weapons when there is no other recourse.

The group also got to see the high-security evidence room, and the brain of the operation – the communications room, where a staff of five dispatchers work together to make sure police are getting accurate information in a timely manner when they are out in the field.

Officer Paul Rondeau talks about target practice using a cardboard "target man" cutout.
Officer Paul Rondeau talks about target practice with a Taser gun using a cardboard “target man” cutout.

Over the next eight weeks, scheduled sessions will include more in-depth explanations of how the communications department works, cyber crime and juvenile law, the mounted patrol and K-9 units, crime prevention, CSI Manchester and the SWAT team.


About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!