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Citizen's Police Academy

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Posted about 4 years ago


What do you think of the Citizen's Police Academy program?

Is it offered in your area? What all does it involve?

I went through the course last fall, and had a great time!

I'm 21 years old, and was the youngest person in my class. There was one woman in her 40's; everyone else was over 60. Most of them were parents or grandparents, with children, grandchildren, or other relatives who were either going through the police academy or already officers, and took this course for a little glimpse into the world of law enforcement. The others had friends or relatives who had taken the CPA course and talked about what a great course it was. Everyone wanted to learn more about police work, and the difference between real life versus what TV shows us!

It was a collaborative effort between five local departments, and ran for 9 weeks (9 sessions once a week, 3 hours each). Topics included Constitutional and criminal law, community policing and crime prevention, investigations (interviews, evidence, etc.), the use of force, traffic stops, DWI, and police weaponry. 

I've worked with many of these officers in different training exercises, so it was great to get to learn from them in this course! Lots of really interesting information. They also shared their "war stories"; some funny, and others a reminder of all the things that can go wrong. 

Our final class session was a role playing simulation night. They gave us duty belts (with dummy plastic canisters of OC spray and those orange plastic training pistols) and put us through two different scenarios, one traffic stop (DUI) and one "suspicious person" call. While we waited our turns to go through the scenarios, they shared more stories from their work and showed us videos of high-speed chases, officer-involved shootings, and traffic stops gone wrong. That heightened all of our adrenaline, as we wondered what on earth would be in store for us in the scenarios! Ours were straightforward (no guns pulled, no crazy angry drunk man, etc.) but still nerve-wracking! 

All in all, I think this is an excellent course. It gives civilians a glimpse into the world of police work and the dangers that officers face, and lets the officers interact with civilians on another level and share some great knowledge. 

For the civilians here, have you gone through this course? What did you think? And LEO's here, is the CPA course offered in your area? What do you think of it - do you think it is an effective teaching tool?


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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago


 I attended the local CPA several years ago and thought it was useful and a good way for citizens to learn about police work, how and why the officers do things. We got to tour the "new" local jail which just finished completion a couple of weeks earlier and had not been occupied. Near the end of the session, we were allowed to do traffic stop  with each person taking turn driving a police car and civilian car on a closed course and even got to shoot some rounds at their shooting range which was cool. The officers were very friendly and personable. I encourage civilians on this site to sign up for the CPA in their area if they have not experience this before.

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago


I have recommended citizens attend this academy.