For Cedar Park citizens who have ever been curious about the ins and outs of how police work is done, there’s soon to be a golden opportunity to learn what it’s really like to “walk around” in an officer’s patrol boots.
Applications are now being accepted for the 28th class of the Cedar Park Citizens Police Academy. The 15-week program is designed for residents to learn about the department's work and grow their understanding about law enforcement operations, tactics and governing laws and principles during weekly two hour sessions.
Classes begin Feb. 5, and will take place Mondays 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Applications are available online at www.cedarparktexas.gov and can be turned in via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Feb. 2.
The classes offer an overview of animal control, patrol, traffic enforcement, criminal investigations, SWAT and negotiations, crisis intervention, officer involved shootings, K-9 units, narcotics and weapons among other topics through interactive experiences, training and discussion.
Every class features a different guest instructor professional. Several field trips are involved, which include a firearm simulation course and visiting a crime scene to learn about evidence collection procedures.
Citizens curious about entering law enforcement are encouraged to apply, as many graduates have gone on to become police officers, said Sgt. Jessie Campbell.
“It’s really a great course for citizens of our community to get a great experience and understand what our police officers do,” he said. “The idea is education through experience to help things run smoother and run better with the community.”
Former academy graduate Dean Young said he jumped at the opportunity to learn more about law enforcement when he first learned about the program. He later went on to become the president of the Cedar Park Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (CPCPAAA).
“(Citizens) learn police officers are just like you and me except their job is a little different,” Young said. “I always wanted to be a police officer and this was the opportunity to do so without wearing a badge. You get exposure to not only police officers, but their core values and their mission.”
For more information about enrolling in the citizen’s academy, email Sgt. Campbell at email@example.com.