A police agency cannot be effective without the trust of its citizens. The Citizens Police Academy program builds that trust. It provides a bridge between the officer in the car and the citizens in the field. Citizens who complete the program understand what the police department does as opposed to what is seen on TV. Citizens gain an appreciation of problems and challenges facing law enforcement. These citizens then become the police department's "goodwill ambassadors" in the community.
When Is It Offered?
The Burleson Police Department hosts the free 8-week Citizens Police Academy multiple times each year at the Burleson Police Department, 1161 S.W. Wilshire Blvd.
What Are The Topics?
The topics include criminal investigations, building searches, traffic law enforcement, narcotics investigation, SWAT, patrol procedures, and more. The classes are as "hands on" as possible. Instructors demonstrate techniques used to search a building for an intruder, then participants practice what they've learned. Participants also solve a homicide scenario by identifying evidence, using investigative techniques, and interviewing witnesses. Students ride along with an officer or monitor the communications office.
Who Are The Instructors?
One police officer serves as coordinator for the academy but speakers from throughout the department share their expertise. Occasionally instructors are brought in from outside the department as well (i.e. criminal prosecutor, judge, etc.).
Who Is Eligible?
The Citizens Police Academy is open to men and women, 18 or older. Citizens must submit an application packet which consists of the application, a waiver form, and consent for criminal history check. The class is limited to 30 students.