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Discussion Starter #1
In response to a question in another forum, I related my experience of attending and graduating from a Citizen's Police Academy this past year. It occurred to me that members of rugerforum.net might enjoy the post and want to consider attending a local Academy in their area. The Academy provided great experiences in shooting firearms, increasing Situational Awareness, and developing Defensive Survival Techniques. One of the many fringe benefits of the Academy was getting to shoot any firearm owned by the Police Department on the Range Day.

ORIGINAL POST
Many Police Departments sponsor a Citizen's Police Academy as a way to educate and inform the general public as to what a policeman does on the job. In my community, we have a Department of Public Safety in which each officer serves as a policeman, fireman, and first responder.

The Academy was ten weeks long with a three-hour meeting each week. The Academy is held once a year with a limited number of openings. In order to be selected for the Academy, we had to fill out a questionnaire and undergo a complete background check.

The topics included:
  • History & Organization of Police and Fire Departments
  • Departmental Tour
  • Recruiting/Hiring
  • Legal Whys
  • Juvenile Law
  • Patrol Division Duties
  • DWI
  • Crime Prevention
  • Communications
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Interviews/Negotiations
  • Special Response Team with Field Demonstration of SWAT
  • Use of Force with Demonstrations Including Tasering
  • Street Survival
  • Firearms with a Complete Range Day to Fire Weapons
  • Court
  • K-9 Unit with Demonstration of Drug Interdiction & Examination of Different Types of Drugs
  • Sex Offenders
  • Capital Murder Jury
  • Volunteers
  • Fire/Rescue with Field Day with Hands-On Experience
  • Graduation

It was a great experience. On the Range Day, we got to fire any weapons owned by the Police Department. On the Fire/Rescue, we got to actually put out fires on the practice range including using the 110' ladder and opening a truck with the Jaws of Life. On the K9 day, we learned how dogs are trained and got to watch the K9 officer sniff out various drugs. [By the way, did you know that K9 dogs are commissioned police officers and if you assault or kill a K9 dog, it is a second degree felony in Texas.]

The experience left me with a great appreciation for what our officers do. Our particular department really emphasizes that the officer works for the members of the community. Since graduating from the Academy, I do frequent police ride-a-longs, especially on Friday/Saturday evenings from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. I also volunteer in fundraising activities for the department.

I apologize for the length of my response. You can probably tell that I really enjoyed the experience.

I urge you to contact your local police department to see if they have a Citizen's Police Academy. It is a very rewarding experience.
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Double P90 Shooter
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This sounds great,what part of the Great State are you in?
 

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Ausmerican.
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Sounds like a great program.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like a great program.
Recently, I watched a great series of videos on UTube on Paramedics, Policemen, and Customs Officers in Australia. They followed groups of recruits through their training through graduation. It was fascinating to watch them do their own ride-a-longs as they went through training.

Are there any Citizen's Police Academies available in Australia?

Of course, since you are a Paramedic, you could start your own Citizen's Academy.
 

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I took one of the Citizen Academies here in CO about ten years ago. Our curriculum was a bit different in that we did not have a range day, but did get to drive patrol car on a closed course (cornering, avoidance maneuvers, etc.). We also have a presentation on illegal drugs.

Well worth the time.

Almost as a P.S. . . . our PD was also looking for volunteers to work in the PD.
VERY interesting. :)
 

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Ausmerican.
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Recently, I watched a great series of videos on UTube on Paramedics, Policemen, and Customs Officers in Australia. They followed groups of recruits through their training through graduation. It was fascinating to watch them do their own ride-a-longs as they went through training.

Are there any Citizen's Police Academies available in Australia?
No, there aren't any Citizen's Police Academies here.
I remember the Paramedic trainee's vid, I didn't watch it (that's if we are speaking of the same one).
To be honest, it is a little different than what they portrayed on that series.
But that's television, and..... you probably already knew that. :D
Cheers.
James.
 

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sounds cool. I will have to see if my city has a citizen's school.

P.S.

For anyone that has been through it you may know this; but, if you have ever sat on a grand jury in just about any decent sized county you will get a lot of the same knowledge but not as much interaction. My wife just sat on a grand jury for our county for a month. In that month she learned about what parts of town to avoid and learned a lot about what the officers of our city and county sacrifice to keep us safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took one of the Citizen Academies here in CO about ten years ago. Our curriculum was a bit different in that we did not have a range day, but did get to drive patrol car on a closed course (cornering, avoidance maneuvers, etc.). We also have a presentation on illegal drugs.

Well worth the time.

Almost as a P.S. . . . our PD was also looking for volunteers to work in the PD.
VERY interesting. :)
On my ride-a-longs, I have experienced both some pretty hairy patrol car rides and prickly situations. It made me wish they would allow me to carry my concealed weapon on the ride but, "IT IS FORBIDDEN!" There is a reason you have to sign a notarized waiver absolving the Police Department for anything that might happen to you on a ride-a-long. There is a certain amount of risk involved because you really never know what is going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No, there aren't any Citizen's Police Academies here.
I remember the Paramedic trainee's vid, I didn't watch it (that's if we are speaking of the same one).
To be honest, it is a little different than what they portrayed on that series.
But that's television, and..... you probably already knew that. :D
Cheers.
James.
The Paramedic trainee video was produced for Australian television and was highly romanticized. It was almost a "recruitment" video for Paramedics. It made me want to go join up and I am 69 years old. I am sure the reality of being a Paramedic is quite different than the tv portrayal.
 

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Central Texas "Deep in the Heart of Texas!"
I am in Central Texas also, near Belton and attended the BPD Citizens Academy early last year. Time very well spent but no range time (I have my own in the back forty).

BPD has a volunteer group that requires a little more training and then we are used for local event control and assistance.

I also recently attended the Texas Citizens Academy in Waco for two days as a Belton representative.

I have enjoyed the experience.

BTW, I do not qualify as a cop-wanta-be, just like to be involved...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
...I have enjoyed the experience.

BTW, I do not qualify as a cop-wanta-be, just like to be involved...
My sentiments exactly. I have a deep appreciation for what our police do and want to support them. Frankly, I do not possess enough "warrior" spirit to be a cop-wanna-be or even a Mall Ninja. LOL!
 

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Republican!!!
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I went to the Santa Clara County Police Academy in Santa Clara, CA in 1978. It was (I believe) 12 or 13 weeks long 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week. Although I didn't stay long in LE, it was an experience I'll never forget. While our Academy was used by all the local agencies, including airport police, it was available to the public for a price. Private attendees usually were security guards. The price was high, though I don't remember what it was but they could attend a regular class like new LEO's.

Between that and my LE degree, I got a well rounded education that facinated me. I was a LEO for 2 years when I became a witness to an alleged crime by another officer who was 3 months my senior. They tried to coerce me to lie on the witness stand, but silly me, I told the truth. That wound up costing me my job as the other side made it their goal in life to make mine miserable. They succeeded and I quit. I truly loved that job and finished on the Dean's List in college and top in my academy class. But, I was only 22 when I was hired and still too naive to deal with department politics.

But civilians taking a police academy course is a great idea. I hadn't remembered that civilians could take the course until this post.
 

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I went to a Citizens Academy last spring put on my my County Sheriff (I live in Wright County, MN.)

I had a great time. Learned lots of stuff. I have an evern greater appreciation for our law enforcement folks.

After one of the evenings, I sent an email out to many of my friends. Essentially it said:

"I shot a Sheriff's Deputy three times last night with his firearm and I'm not going to jail."

Of course, I got lots of responses wanting to know "the rest of the story."

We used specially modified Glocks with barrels that would only allow paintball type ammunition to be used. We were dressed in protective gear and running training scenarios. In my case a "bad guy" came running from the building holding a firearm and was shooting at us. My training oficer complemented my on three great shots to the center of mass.

We also got to process crime scenes, do traffic stops, listen to the probation people and the County Attorney. Lots of great information from all of them.
 

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I went to the Santa Clara County Police Academy in Santa Clara, CA in 1978. It was (I believe) 12 or 13 weeks long 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week. Although I didn't stay long in LE, it was an experience I'll never forget. While our Academy was used by all the local agencies, including airport police, it was available to the public for a price. Private attendees usually were security guards. The price was high, though I don't remember what it was but they could attend a regular class like new LEO's.

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But civilians taking a police academy course is a great idea. I hadn't remembered that civilians could take the course until this post.
Not the same kinda class.

Many law enforcement agencies are having a free "introductory" type class just for the average joe citizen. The stated purpose was to give a brief overview of Law enforcemet activites in our county. It was essentially a great oportunity for public relations.

I would guess that the class I took involved about 40 hrs total time over 5-6 weeks. Since we were shooting live firearms at time, etc. a background check was done. There were men and women there ranging in age from 21 to 80.
 

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Not the same kinda class.

Many law enforcement agencies are having a free "introductory" type class just for the average joe citizen. The stated purpose was to give a brief overview of Law enforcemet activites in our county. It was essentially a great oportunity for public relations.

I would guess that the class I took involved about 40 hrs total time over 5-6 weeks. Since we were shooting live firearms at time, etc. a background check was done. There were men and women there ranging in age from 21 to 80.
As I stated, in Santa Clara Co, (30 years ago) private citizens could take the complete academy course. The cost was in the thousands, but I don't remember what, which put it out of reach for most. But they "could" take it if they wanted to. They would also be subject to being dismissed from the course for low scores or improper behavior without refund.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As I stated, in Santa Clara Co, (30 years ago) private citizens could take the complete academy course. The cost was in the thousands, but I don't remember what, which put it out of reach for most. But they "could" take it if they wanted to. They would also be subject to being dismissed from the course for low scores or improper behavior without refund.
The typical "Citizen's Police Academy" is almost totally a public relations course designed to create an informed and supportive public. It does not give any type of certification other than "Honorary." That is totally different than attending an actual "Police Academy" that leads to certification for employment.

Our regular Police Academy is quite rigorous and after successfully completing the Academy, a person still has to pass state examinations. Getting through a regular Police Academy is no easy task.
 

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The typical "Citizen's Police Academy" is almost totally a public relations course designed to create an informed and supportive public. It does not give any type of certification other than "Honorary." That is totally different than attending an actual "Police Academy" that leads to certification for employment.

Our regular Police Academy is quite rigorous and after successfully completing the Academy, a person still has to pass state examinations. Getting through a regular Police Academy is no easy task.
Yes, I totally agree. I was just pointing out that a private citizen "can" take the LEO version. It's militaristic and is similar to military boot camp in many ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Yes, I totally agree. I was just pointing out that a private citizen "can" take the LEO version. It's militaristic and is similar to military boot camp in many ways.
And just think, that private citizen is paying for all that boot camp "abuse." :eek:

I appreciate your post about Santa Clara. A lot of readers probably did not know that a private citizen could attend a regular Police Academy. [If I came across defensively, I apologize. Sometimes posts just convey a wrong intention. We are in total agreement.]:D

If a person is a provisional hire, he/she often will go through that department's Police Academy at the department's expense. I would surmise that private citizens might pay their own way if, (1) they were provisional hires but the particular department would not pay for the (required) Police Academy, (2) they hoped to get hired somewhere (Police Department, Private Security, etc.), so they are willing to bear the costs for the Academy on their own, or (3) they are true "Police Junkies" or "Cop Wanna-Be's" and are willing to pay to get the adrenaline rush from attending the Academy.

I loved attending the Citizen' Police Academy but it did show me that I would have a pretty difficult time time getting through the physical requirements of a regular Police Academy. I would probably "wash out" during the first week.

My primary hope is that the discussion on this thread will encourage others to participate in their own local Citizen's Academy. :)
 

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Republican!!!
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And just think, that private citizen is paying for all that boot camp "abuse." :eek:

My primary hope is that the discussion on this thread will encourage others to participate in their own local Citizen's Academy. :)
I agree with that, too. I'm not sure what all is contained in the private citizen version, but it's got to be better than nothing.

I wonder if they get tear gassed like we did? :confused::eek::rolleyes:
 
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