Citizen Police Academy
The Citizen Police Academy was established in 1991 with the purpose to familiarize citizens with the operations of the police department. This includes classes on patrol procedures, criminal law, narcotics, search and seizure, tactical operations, investigations, juvenile law, and a firearms demonstration. Students also have the "option" to ride with a patrol officer and witness the street-activity our officers encounter on a day-to-day basis.
The objective of the Citizen Police Academy is to produce informed citizens. The police and the citizens benefit by meeting each other face-to-face in a neutral, friendly setting. Each becomes a person to the other. Hopefully, by providing citizens the information needed to dispel any suspicions or misconceptions a working rapport can be established between officers and the public. Since 1985, numerous police agencies have created Citizen Police Academies as an expansion of their community-based crime prevention efforts. The academy is intended to open the lines of communication between the community and the police department. The role of the police is ambivalent to those in the field, and to citizens, as it may frequently appear that the police are not doing their job or are exceeding their boundaries.
Topics discussed include:
- Becoming a Police Officer
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Patrol Tactics
- The Criminal Justice System
- S.W.A.T. - K-9
- Negotiations - Narcotics
- Use of Force
- Driving and Shooting Simulators
- Internet Crimes - Child Crimes
- Emergency Communications/Dispatch
- Traffic Enforcement
- Homicide Investigation
- Municipal Court
By allowing citizens an up close and personal look at what rules, regulations, and policies the police follow, some of this misunderstanding may be alleviated. During classes, the participants are encouraged to ask questions and give feedback concerning the operation of the police agency. Additionally, citizens bring a wealth of knowledge about their community and particularly, the problems in their neighborhood. In this way, police are able to learn first-hand the concerns of the citizens.
The Citizen Police Academy is a FREE program, offered in both English and Spanish, held each year and is open to anyone who might be interested, not just Longview residents. The seven week program is held on Tuesday and Thursday nights usually during the months of September and October each year.
Here are a few things that CPA graduates had to say about the academy......
- "Gives a good basic understanding of the services the police department performs...." Steve Hunt
- "This class is so informative! This was a fun experience and a great overview of the entire police department. You must try this!" Stacey Martinez
- "Very informative, fun, and entertaining. I would recommend this class to everyone. This class far exceeded my expectations." Everett Johnston
- "This is a program I would recommend for women, especially single women." Evelyn Jackson