The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) has recently begun accepting applications for the new Citizens’ Academy program, which will teach participants about the duties, procedures, policies, and responsibilities of local police officers.
This is the first time that the CSPD has offered this program. Applicants must be at least 18 years old by the initial meeting and must either live or work in Colorado Springs. They also must pass a mandatory background check in order to be accepted into the program.
Set to begin its inaugural session on Thursday, Sept. 11, the Citizens’ Academy is an eleven-week course that meets every Thursday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. There is also one Saturday meeting in which participants will interact with the bomb squad, K-9 units, and a SWAT team.
Participants will learn about a variety of topics ranging from the hiring of police officers to the investigation of various crimes, and everything in between. Police personnel will be leading the course, offering the students the unique opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the department from the involved officers.
The program is part of an initiative to bridge the gap between citizens and police that is evident in communities around the country. The program also seeks to help the police department better understand the needs and concerns of the citizens in the community.
Citizens’ Academy is free of charge to all applicants who are accepted into the program. However, participants are expected to attend all sessions, making the Citizens’ Academy a significant time commitment.
Students may also participate in an optional ride-along program. This program allows the students to witness the day-to-day operations of an on-duty police officer. Upon graduation from this course, participants who have passed will be given a certificate of completion and will attend a graduation ceremony along with their fellow graduates.