The Springfield Police Department is offering another chance for the public to see how it operates and to learn about various aspects of law enforcement. Applications are being taken for the next Citizens Police Academy, which starts September 6. The ten-week long program, meets three hours every Thursday night.
The course covers a lot of topics, according to Springfield Police Department spokesperson Lisa Cox.
"They really get the full scope of what our department does--each specific unit how it operates, why we do the things we do," Cox said.
Participants will learn about crime scene processing, defensive tactics, use of firearms and the challenges involved in providing a safe community.
The group will also take field trips to places like the department’s range and its history museum at the Calaboose.
The academy is a chance for citizens and police to interact in a positive way, according to Cox.
"Maybe their only interaction with police is maybe being pulled over for a speeding violation or something like that, so they don't fully understand what their police does day to day, and maybe why we make certain decisions they way we do," she said.
But the academy allows citizens to ask questions and share concerns.
"We want to be transparents with the community that we serve, and we feel like this is the best way to give them that opportunity if they want it," she said.
Around 25 are selected each fall to take part.
Past participants have gone on to serve the department through taking part in Chief Paul Williams' citizens advisory group. Others worked together to create the Springfield Police Foundation, which awards grants to benefit the department.
Applications are being accepted through July 20 for this fall’s Citizens Police Academy. Learn more here.