Citizens Police Academy, Raymond, NH

Sign Up by Dec. 9 for Raymond Citizens Police Academy
  By Leslie O’Donnell    11-17-16

The Raymond Police Department would like to spend some time with you – but it’s nothing to get nervous about. If you have a few hours one night a week for 10 weeks this winter, the Raymond Police Station will be the place to be, with the police hosting a free Citizens Police Academy.

Both police and former Academy attendees recommend the classes for all Raymond residents over age 18.

“It’s a 10-week course to get the public more familiar with what we do,” said Raymond Police Officer Susan Frotton, who coordinates the program. While it would be helpful for people considering a career as a police officer, the program offers plenty of information useful to any resident, she said.

The new session starts Jan. 12, and registration is open now. Applications are due by Dec. 9.

The application process includes a background check. Participants must be at least 18 years old, and Raymond residents have first priority.

Frotton said Police Chief David Salois and Capt. Michael Labell learned of the program and asked her to look into it for Raymond.  “It’s all about educating the public,” Frotton said. “We put it together to be very Raymond-specific.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t understand our job,” Frotton continued. “They only come in contact with us if there’s a problem. The Citizens Police Academy shows what we do. This gives everyone an opportunity to meet an officer in a situation other than a crisis or a traffic stop. People see that we laugh, that we’re human.”

Frotton, a 13-year veteran of the Raymond Police Department, has been the town’s School Resource Officer (SRO), and is one of the advisors to the local Police Explorers program. She values the contact between the community and the Police Department that the program fosters.

“I feel like it’s really worthwhile - and the reviews we got back from the participants!” she said. “They wish there was a second series of classes.”

The program opens with the history of the Raymond Police Department and the testing and hiring procedure for new officers. Through the ensuing weeks, topics feature motor vehicle crime and Driving Under the Influence (DUI); communications and the role of the dispatcher; domestic violence and restraining orders; crime scene investigation; prosecution, including a visit to the Candia Courthouse; animal control and animal laws; crime awareness and home safety, including Neighborhood Watch and home protection plans; a dinner with the police chief or his designee, including a question and answer session; and a concluding party and presentation of certificates.

In addition, participants are invited to sign up to take part in a ride-along on their own time in a cruiser with a Raymond officer.

Frotton said at the first program, participants ranged from two 18-year-old students at Raymond High School all the way up to senior citizens.

“It’s eye opening for people who don’t have a sense of what we handle in town,” Frotton said.  “We’re not teaching people to be mini-police officers or to make an arrest.”

One of the participants in the first Citizens Police Academy was longtime Raymond resident Linda Richard. Many months after the class, she still retains her enthusiasm for the experience, and had plenty of praise for the program.

“I thought it was very educational,” she said. “It’s really helpful to me as a citizen. It gives a different perspective, gives you the idea of what the police can do, rather than what you want them to do. You learn how they approach calls.

“The program touched on domestic violence, restraining orders, crime scene investigation with fingerprinting – everyone should do it,” she added. “I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Richard said classes included a field sobriety and breathalyzer test, as well as a trip to the courthouse in Candia with an actual judge and attorneys to see how a DUI cases is handled. And she was fascinated to learn about the role of the dispatchers – huddled away in tight quarters in the Police Department and the first response heard by people in need.

Richard said she signed up for the class because she is interested in the law. “It opens your eyes to see what the police have to go through and what they cannot do,” she said. “Every night we had a different officer talk to us, including the chief. If I were younger, I might consider becoming an officer!”

Richard also took part in a ride-along with an officer and had a tour of the police station. And she learned plenty of safety tips to put into practice at home. Her only suggested addition was a visit to the jail in Brentwood.

“I think everyone should take the classes – it’s just a couple of hours one night a week for 10 weeks,” she said.

Pastor Ken Bosse of New Life Church in Raymond took the class as well, and said the program was both well-rounded and fun. More importantly, it covered all aspects of the Police Department, rather than just the popular image of an officer in a cruiser, he said.

“It changed how we look at the police, to realize their bigger job is to present a positive image in the community, rather than messing up someone’s day by giving them a speeding ticket,” he said.

“I want to give a shout-out to Sue Frotton for putting on this program and for Chief Salois for allowing it to happen and opening up the department to us,” he added. “It was a really well-presented class.”

Bosse said he and his youth pastor at the time took the class together, and thought it would be an eye-opening experience. “And it turned out that way,” he said.

“I absolutely would recommend the program,” Bosse said.  “It was very informative, and a lot of times it was fun.

“Doing good police work is more about community service, rather than just going after bad guys,” he added. “The program showed the police in a multi-faceted way.

Applications can be found at the Raymond Police Website or at the Raymond Police Department. For details, contact Officer Susan Frotton at 895-4747 or email:

























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