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Department graduates citizen academy class

Mary A. Castillo

Students of the sixth Laguna Beach Police Department Citizen Academy

have graduated from the 12-week course.

On May 14 the students joined 120 alumni who have completed the


non-stress course.

“The program gives citizens a better understanding of the police

department and why we do the things we do,” said Sgt. Darin Lenyi.

Family members of the graduates and representatives from the


department, including Chief James E. Spriene, attended the graduation


The four-year-old program includes instruction in the history of the

department, investigations, traffic enforcement, accident investigation,

driving under the influence investigation, gangs and narcotics.

Students toured the department as well as vehicles and other equipment

used by the department. They were also given a chance to shoot at the

police firing range and participate in mock scenarios.


Members of class number six were: Carol Auld, Elaine Barnard, Patricia

Bell, Susan Connoly, Cheyne Gately, Shawn Hoctor, Douglass Kinn, Hesh

Lensky, Judy Munday, Ligia Nealon, Pierre Poisson, John Praisler, Paul

Puma (class president), Melinda Salmeto, Jacki Schroch, Tom Smith, Jeremy

Somodi, Russ Stewart, Brent Wagner and Judy Wittenstein (class vice


The next Citizen Police Academy will begin Sept. 4 and the deadline

for applications is Aug. 20. Information: Sgt. Darin Leny at 497-0750,


Ext. 230.