Limited to 30 participants, the free program provides members of the public with a working knowledge of police operations in a variety of areas.
Topics such as traffic stops, special operations, use of force, narcotics and a patrol ride-along are included among a series of classes to run for 10 weeks. Sessions will be held on Mondays from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in the Training Room at the police department.
Although the program doesn’t begin until Jan. 4, interested persons are asked to apply now, with applications to be accepted only until the course is filled. Participation hasn’t been a problem in recent years, with the 30 slots taken up quickly.
After the Citizens Police Academy ends in March, a graduation ceremony will be held during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners. At recent graduations, participants have been given the opportunity to comment about the program, which has produced numerous remarks about how much the experience meant to them.
The Citizens Police Academy, now enrolling its 10th class, was developed to educate participating citizens about the “nuts and bolts” of law enforcement. An overall goal is to improve communication and promote citizen input and support throughout the community.
Classes will highlight the equipment and training that Mount Airy Police Department officers utilize in providing a number of important services, along with the philosophies and guiding principles behind those functions. The program’s main objective is allowing the public a better understanding of police work in the community and issues affecting that mission, along with getting to know more about the men and women involved.
Sessions will provide an in-depth view of various areas of law enforcement led by officers directly involved in them. The first class on Jan. 4 will include police communications and an overview of patrol operations.
On Jan. 11, the topics will include juvenile law enforcement and narcotics, with no session scheduled on Jan. 18 due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The topics of the Jan. 25 class will be laws and city ordinances, along with training issues, while the Feb. 1 session will involve investigations and computer crimes.
On. Feb. 8, community policing, crime prevention and the DARE program will be highlighted, with the Feb. 15 class to include patrol techniques, traffic enforcement and a traffic stop demonstration.
A firearms training simulator and the role of the police firing range will be included in a session scheduled for Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
K-9 and Crisis Management Team demonstrations are planned for Feb. 22, with arrest/search/seizure to be covered on March 1 and a mock court set for March 8.
In addition, graduates will be encouraged to join the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. This will give them the opportunity for continued education in the field of law enforcement and other related areas. It also will allow a more interactive association with the police department, if desired.
Successful applicants to the Citizens Police Academy must be at least 18 years old and live in or near the city. They will be subject to a background check.
Casual dress is appropriate for the sessions, with participants asked to park in the city library lot across the street from the police station.
Those wishing to apply or wanting more information about the Citizens Police Academy can call Lt. Jim Armbrister or community police officers Ray Arnder or Kelly Hiatt at 786-3535.
Contact Tom Joyce at email@example.com or at 719-1924.