By Drew Teague
The Citizens Police Academy kicked off with a lesson that gave participants a view of police’s legal boundaries.
The Academy began Tuesday with Sgt. Evan Ramsay, UK Police officer and head of Investigations Unit, giving a talk on the legal side of the job.
“I’m not trying to make everybody in here lawyers, I’m not trying to make everyone in here experts,” Ramsay said to a crowd of 24 participants. “I’m not a lawyer or an expert, but this is a really important piece of what law enforcement is all about.”
Students in the Academy work with UK Police officers, and it offers them instruction in law, firearms, DUI detection, canine, self-defense and more.
The course gives participants a chance to see the police department in a new way through the interactions.
During the class, Ramsay spoke about laws involved with law enforcement, including the Supreme Court cases that went along with some of them, like Miranda v. Arizona (1966).
“I’m going to touch on a few of the broader, bigger subjects that impact us every day across the country,” Ramsay said. “When we talk about prosecuting and arresting people like that, we go by the Kentucky Revised Statutes, which are all the laws pertaining to the state of Kentucky.”
Of the 24 participants present, five were current UK students and the rest were from various departments throughout the university.
Ramsay began by quizzing the class on the law enforcement Amendments in the Bill of Rights. Throughout the 2 1/2-hour class, Ramsay kept the information flowing, but connected it to personal experiences he has had through his time in the police academy and while on the force.
Ramsay discussed the ability of an officer to arrest a subject for certain crimes. Misdemeanors must happen in the presence of the officer for them to be able to arrest them, he said, while felonies need probable cause for the arrest and do not have to happen with an officer present.
Leisa Patrick, clinic manager of an outpatient clinics and course participant, had strong reasons why she took the course.
“With the recent murder of the dermatologist on the south end of town, our clinic is off campus, and I am hoping that I can learn something to keep us safe there,” Patrick said. “We don’t have security on site or anything.”
Patrick enjoyed the legal class Tuesday, saying her favorite part was figuring out the boundaries of the police.
“I think it is interesting to find out what exactly the police can and cannot do legally, although I think they do a good job,” Patrick said. “But it’s interesting to know that there are certain lines they can’t cross.”
The CPA course continues each Tuesday until CPA’s graduation.