IUPUI junior Paul Annee gains better understanding of their work
By B. Scott Mohr
Paul Annee had always looked forward to the end of his classes ... that is until he enrolled in the Indianapolis Public Safety Citizens Academy this spring.
“I was disappointed when it was over; I wanted to learn more,” Annee said.
Coordinated by the Indy Public Safety Foundation, the academy provides a free, 10-week course (Thursday evenings) designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the work of first responders. Its goal is to raise awareness and bridge the relation gap between the community and the city’s public safety agencies.
“I think all participants walked away with a better understanding of what first responders go through on a daily basis. I know I did,” said Annee, a graduate of Roncalli and a 20-year-old junior at IUPUI, where he is pursuing a degree in political science.
He and his classmates met with officials from the Indianapolis Fire and Police departments on six of the evenings and also worked with paramedics from Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, with whom they simulated saving someone’s life using Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“We went to the Police Academy and heard from recruits,” said Annee, who also learned about Chief Bryan Roach’s policing policies. Participants also learned how tough it is for an officer to decide when and when not to shoot.
The academy is known to be an eye-opener for all students. It’s kind of an aha moment.
Annee said it was obvious that some of the participants had had previous run-ins with the police and were hoping to get some answers. “All their questions were answered.
“We also heard from Task Force 1 and how they would deal with a terrorist situation.”
Annee, son of Paul Annee and Melanie Annee and grandson of former Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Annee and wife Gloria, said the academy would prove valuable to anyone who enrolls in it.
“You will gain a lot of valuable information, and you will want to take a more engaging role in communities matters. You will find out that there a lot of tools resources out there that can help make better neighborhoods. I think everyone walks away from the academy with better impression of first responders. I think it helps make Indy a cut above many other cities.”
Anne was a member of the sixth graduating class. “Our class was full; people were turned away. I was impressed with the graduation ceremony at the Indiana War Memorial.
“Our class members were very diverse, from race and religion to age and social economic status. It was very encouraging to see that so many people care about our city. Everyone felt comfortable participating and getting to know one another. It’s great to know that I have so many new contacts who have a deep interest in the community.”
Another course will start in the fall, with enrollment on a first-come, first-served basis. Info: Dane Nutty at 317-327-7067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annee’s interest in the work of police was piqued so much that he signed up for a ride-along. “We responded to a few incidents,” he said. “It gave me a better understanding of how the police operate.”
When not attending school or studying, Anne is a civilian facility security specialist with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department at the City-County Building. (He refers to himself the “wand guy” at the security gate). He belongs to various civic organizations and coaches the St. Roch Catholic Youth Organization girls high school basketball team, on which younger sister Zoey, a junior at Roncalli, plays. He also has an older sister, Alex, 24.
As for his future, Annee has always had a great interest in the political process. “If an opportunity presents itself, I would be interested.”