Become streetwise at Citizens Police Academy [Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock]

Did you know that once or twice each year, the Howard County Police Department offers a free Citizens Police Academy designed to inform residents about the operations and experiences of our local police force?

It takes place mainly in our own backyard, at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, in Marriottsville. However, the course also involves "field trips" to other locations.

The next session will begin on Monday, Sept. 8, 7-9:30 p.m., and will run once a week for 11 weeks. Participants will learn about the mission, role and values of the police department, its organizational structure, community policing concepts, criminal procedural law, use-of-force issues, criminal investigation techniques, evidence collection procedures, traffic law enforcement, drug enforcement, youth programs, and community relations and crime prevention. Participants will also experience driver training, firing range activities and a patrol ride-along.

The county offers the academy for informational purposes only; graduates of the program will not possess any police powers.

Applicants must be Howard County residents, at least 18 years of age, with no criminal record. Go to to print an application form and make sure to register by Sunday, Aug. 31. Questions? Call 410-313-1364.

Although the West Friendship Elementary community tearfully said goodbye to Principal Carol Hahn at the end of last school year, it is delighted to welcome Aaron Tark as its new principal.

Tark previously served as assistant principal at Hammond Elementary School. He will hold a Meet and Greet session on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 3:30-4:30 p.m., in the school media center. Go to for more information, or call the school at 410-313-5512.

As we roll into a new month, remember that the next Sykesville First Fridays event will take place on Friday, Aug. 1. The Baltimore-based duo Soulflower will perform in the Main Street gazebo from 7 to 9 p.m., and local shops will remain open for business until 10. Refreshments and wine will be available.

Also, Sykesville Cinema will feature "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" as its Outdoor Movie in the Park on Saturday, Aug. 9, 8-10 p.m., at Millard Cooper Park. Remember to bring lawn chairs or blankets; beverages and refreshments will be available for purchase.

For more information about these or other Sykesville events, go to, or contact Main Street Manager Ivy Wells at or 410-795-8959.

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