Frequently asked questions and information about the Citizen's Police Academy.
Q: What is a Citizen Police Academy?
- A Citizen Police Academy is a mechanism used by a law enforcement agency for educating the public about the criminal justice system and the ways to resist crime. The overall goals are to gain support for police work, explain the operations of police agencies, and encourage private citizens to undertake appropriate security measures. Police personnel conduct the classes, which are normally coordinated by community relations and/or training units.
- Citizen Oriented program.
- A realistic and up-front look at law enforcement.
- The academy covers all aspects of the job.
- The course is comprised of lecture and hands-on training.
Q: Why a Citizen Police Academy?
- To dispel myths, rumors, and inaccurate media coverage of law enforcement.
1. Describe the law enforcement role in the criminal justice system.
2. Limitations due to statutes, district attorney, available resources.
- Promote positive citizen/law enforcement relationships.
- Program in support of the community policing philosophy.
1. Allows officers to interact with citizens in a positive setting.
1. Expands community-based crime prevention efforts.
2. Participants learn how to make their community crime-free.
3. Sources for new ideas.
4. Provides an avenue to learn about the citizens concerns.
5. Encourages a positive police interaction with the public.
6. Augments police job satisfaction and provides a measure of accountability to the public.
7. Used to recruit individuals into the profession.
8. Can emphasize specific problems in the course of instruction, i.e., type of crimes that are specific to the locale.
9. Using guest instructors from other agencies furthers inter-agency cooperation.
10. The internal cooperation necessary for organizing an academy program is a means of increasing the morale of the Department.
Q: How do I schedule a ride-along?
Select the area command of your choice, determine the shift you would like to ride (Day, Swing or Graveyard), and contact the Watch Commander to schedule the ride-along.
Q: When do I schedule the ride-along?
Sometime in the latter part of the Academy (last two weeks). By this time you would have been exposed to many of the sessions, giving you a understanding of law enforcement.
Q: When is the best time to ride?
Generally the best (most active) time to ride is during the evening or night shift on Thursday, Friday or Saturday; however, any shift has the potential of being extremely busy or uneventful.
Q: What will we do during the ride?
You will be observing what a patrol officer would normally do during his/her shift. Primarily, the officer will be answering calls for service, writing reports, issuing citations to violators, making arrests, or just patrolling his/her district. Your expected behavior, demeanor, and dress is explained in detail in the above rules. Do not hesitate to ask the officer questions whenever an opportunity avails itself.
Q: Who do I ride with? Can I request a specific officer?
Every effort will be made to place you with an officer who is receptive to the program, and will afford you an opportunity to learn. If you would like to ride with a specific officer, you may request to do so. However, it is the shift sergeant's decision with whom you will ride. The decision is made with the overall operating efficiency of patrol services in mind. The sergeant's decision in all cases is final.
Please submit comments or questions to Officer Gerald Sandoval, CPA Coordinator, at (505) 343-5009