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San Marcos Citizens Fighting Back Against Gun Violence
Central Texans are fighting back against the threat of gun violence by attending law enforcement citizen academies.
The San Marcos Police Department has seen record attendance with 38 students this year.
John Toeller graduated in the fall. He tells us his spouse runs the Holiday Inn Express where she deals with law enforcement on a regular basis, which got them interested.
"Through the criminal justice center, they will hold rooms for crime scene investigators to do investigations," Toeller said.
After going through the academy, he says, he enjoyed learning the inner workings of the department, even getting tazed.
Officer Paul Stephens runs the course. He says the recent gun debate could be the reason for more interest.
"People are afraid and they are not sure how their local law enforcement would respond to certain scenarios," Stephens said.
That's why he says they are transparent in their 13 week free course.
"We talk about terrorism, we talk about active shooters, we talk about mental health," Stephens said.
The Austin Police Department is doing the same and seeing an increase.
"We talk about everything that has happened in the police department that week. I call it the good, the bad and the ugly," Senior Police APD Officer Dennis Farris said.
We did some checking and found out The Citizen Academy Classes with the Round Rock Police Department and Hays County Sheriff's Office are also seeing an increase in attendance.
Here is the info for each department's academy -
San Marcos PD http://www.ci.san-marcos.tx.us/index.aspx?page=306
Austin PD http://austintexas.gov/service/citizens-police-academy
Round Rock PD http://www.roundrocktexas.gov/home/index.asp?page=1093
Hays County Sheriff's Department http://www.co.hays.tx.us/index.php/law-enforcement/sheriff/community-outreach/
By Christie Post