Residents who want to learn how their community Police Department works can get an insider’s perspective at this year’s free Crestview Citizens Police Academy. The 10-week course begins Feb. 11. Applications are being accepted now.
“There’s a lot more to a police department than the average citizen sees,” Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons said. “This program gives you an in-depth, hands-on look at what we do at the Crestview Police Department.”
During the 10-week course, participants will learn about the many facts of a modern police agency, including patrol operations, criminal investigations, criminal prosecution, county corrections and jail, traffic enforcement, crime scene investigation, firearms safety and use, narcotics investigations, the K9 Division, and how the police interacts with fellow first responders.
Classes are taught by certified police officers, investigators, a K-9 handler, attorneys, a local judge, and related criminal justice system professionals.
Hands-on experiences include investigating a mock “crime scene,” touring the Okaloosa County Jail, exploring a typical patrol vehicle, learning about fire-fighting equipment from the Crestview Fire Department, checking out an Okaloosa Emergency Medical Services ambulance, and spending a morning at a nearby shooting range.
After their April 21 graduation, participants will be able to continue their interest in their community Police Department by joining the Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni, a non-profit organization that supports and partners with the agency on various projects.
Past participants have included people from all walks of life, including community organization leaders, Neighborhood Watch representatives, high school and college students interested in law enforcement careers, retirees, and citizens interested in learning more about their town.
The course is open to any North Okaloosa County resident age 18 or over. Participants will undergo a background check during application processing. There is no cost to join the Citizens Police Academy.
Except for the jail visit and shooting range firearms training, classes meet every Tuesday evening at Warriors Hall in the Whitehurst Municipal Building. Applications are due Feb. 4 and are available at the Police Department in the Whitehurst Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd., or online at crestviewpd.org.