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Reporting for duty

Fox Run community member Geri Angel learns the ins and outs of police work

Created date

July 31st, 2017
Fox Run resident Geri Angel recently graduated from the Lake Area Citizens Police Academy.

Fox Run resident Geri Angel recently graduated from the Lake Area Citizens Police Academy.

For Geri Angel, retirement isn’t about slowing down. The former manager for a national chain of childcare providers has taken on many new challenges since moving to Fox Run, the Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. 

For instance, Geri says she used to be quiet and shy, but now she works as both a videographer and an on-air host for Fox Run’s in-house television station.

As part of her most recent adventure, Geri suited up in full firefighter gear, shot a gun, and learned how to take fingerprints at a crime scene. All that was part of a 12-week course called Lake Area Citizens Police Academy. It was presented by the police departments of Novi, Wixom, South Lyon, Wolverine Lake, and Walled Lake, and classes were taught by officers and detectives. 

12 weeks in the life

Geri, along with 34 classmates, visited a 911 emergency dispatch center and learned about K-9 training, fraud investigation, and crime scene investigation. 

They saw the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad robot that assisted with the Clinton Township sinkhole investigation. 

They toured the Medical Examiner’s Office and morgue and reviewed several cases to determine the cause of death. 

They also participated in a firearms tactical simulation course, where they used laser simulators to learn about appropriate gun and rifle reaction to criminal activity.

“I did a ride-along with a Novi police officer—an amazing experience,” Geri says. “I shot a 45. It almost knocked me on my behind, but I did get the bad guy!”

Geri’s friend, Novi Police Chief David Molley, encouraged her to enroll in the class. She says she was curious and wanted to learn more about police training, especially in light of recent negative nationwide press about police encounters.  

“As the class went on, I become more and more fascinated with learning about the in-depth training officers are afforded,” Geri says.

Newfound respect

After spending 12 weeks learning what it takes to work in law enforcement, Geri says she now sees officers in a new light. She was surprised to learn all the roles they’re required to play—from babysitter to doctor to protector to educator—while upholding the law.  

“I came away with a newfound respect for those involved with police work,” Geri says. “I will proudly stand up for any of our officers who put their life on the line every time they report for work.”

Having the opportunity to try so many new and challenging things also taught Geri a lot about herself. Inspired by the course, she has already enrolled in a similar class to learn about the inner workings of the Novi government. She may take the citizens police academy training again next year.

“I came away with a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction,” she says. “I learned a lot about myself and my inner strength, as this type of experience is far removed from any other of my past experiences.”