The Citizens’ Police Academy was founded in July of 1997 to invite members of the community to participate in a learning activity to raise the awareness of the Police Department’s duties and role in the community; to enhance and promote a positive relationship between the police and community; and to share how the Department operates and what policing challenges our city faces. What started out to be an annual event has become a semiannual event due to such high demand and positive response. At the end of 2005, our Department had hosted 14 completed sessions, as well as assisting numerous other agencies in the implementation of CPA in their departments. These factors also enticed the development and delivery of a Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Academy, in which new elements and issues are introduced to citizens who have attended a previous session of the Citizens’ Police Academy. This learning experience has left the graduates with a greater understanding of everyone’s role in crime prevention and provided them firsthand knowledge of what is required of today’s law enforcement.
Through a structured curriculum taught by Officers and personnel from the Department, along with specialized guest speakers, students participate in a variety of activities such as touring the Public Safety Complex. Classes are held to cover many different topics such as: Family Violence/Child Abuse, Use of Force, Juvenile Court Services, Training Programs, Criminal Investigations, Victim Assistance Program, Narcotics, Accident Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation, Internal Affairs, Firearms, and Self Defense. The classes participate in several outside projects like attending a court trial and participating in a ride along program with on duty Officers.