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STARS (Seniors Training Academy Recruits to Succeed)

This program works closely with the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and the Sheriff’s Police Training Academy. The S.T.A.R.S. (Seniors Training Academy Recruits to Succeed) Program is a joint program with CCSPD’s Senior Citizen Services, Community Relations, Training Academy and Triton College. STARS was created at the request of the Training Academy, when the recruit academy was expanded from 10 weeks to 4 months in 2017.

This program is a communications program aimed at making the recruits better communicators as police officers in real life situations, as well as giving them practice on how to write police reports.

We have partnered with the Triton College’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Program for this initiative. RSVP seniors serve as role players and portray senior citizen crime victims. The program is a 4-hour block held at Triton College.

Recruits are staged in the auditorium and the seniors in the RSVP room. Each recruit gets a radio call for service, stating that a senior has been a victim of a crime and they receive a very brief explanation of what the crime is. The recruit then finds the senior, introduces themselves and proceeds to interview the senior about their crime.

During the conversation, the senior victim will often throw things into the conversation to throw off the recruits, such as starting to talk off topic, asking questions that have nothing to do with the crime, etc. It is the recruit’s job to keep the senior on task with their questioning. Once the interview is complete, the recruit is required to write a police report from the information they have gathered.

Each recruit typically does 2 – 4 interviews, each with different seniors and different crime scenarios. At the conclusion of the exercise, the recruits are brought back in with the seniors for a de-briefing.

A Chief or member of the Command Staff attend a presentation at the end of the day to present each participating senior with a certificate as a thank you and take a group picture with everyone. For seniors to participate in this program, they are required to complete a 1-hour training session, that was also created by the three units listed above.