HomeWashington Twp. NewsCitizen Police Academy to be an ‘eye opening experience’

Citizen Police Academy to be an ‘eye opening experience’

Residents 18 and older are invited to experience behind-the-scenes of policing and gain knowledge of what police officers do everyday

Have you ever wanted to be a police officer or learn the inner workings of a police department? From June 5 to July 17, residents will have the chance to do just that at the Washington Township Police Department’s first Citizen Police Academy.

Meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, participants will learn about almost every aspect of police training, challenges and day-to-day work.

- Advertisement -

“What sparked the interest here is getting some of our older residents involved and giving a little more transparency into what it takes to be a police officer — the types of things you go through, the types of things that you see, types of training and all the other resources we have around us,” Officer Eric Caveng said.

According to Caveng, the course will begin with an overall history of policing, morals and ethics. From there, residents will learn about each bureau, such as the patrol and detective bureau, crime scene processing and investigation, the K-9 program, the bicycle patrol unit, motorcycle officers, SWAT and more. Participants will experience what a typical recruit goes through at the police academy, including optional physical fitness and military drill components, as well as receive first aid training and CPR certification. Other elements of the Citizen Police Academy include information on motor vehicle stops, high-risk and regular traffic stops, citations, pursuit considerations, a tour of the Emergency Operations Center in Clayton and more. Caveng said the plan during the emergency vehicle operations session, where residents learn the different ways to handle a car, is to give attendees the opportunity to operate a patrol vehicle themselves at the same location officers train.

“It will be an eye-opening experience for residents to see the inner workings of a police department, the challenges that it faces and requirements a police officer must go through and recertify yearly to maintain that type of position,” Caveng said. “I’m hoping they see us through a different set of eyes and get to experience some of the things we do and understand us better, but also understand our community better so they can know what’s going on around here as well.”

Caveng said the residents who attend the academy will be able to better understand why officers do what they do, and also better prevent certain situations in their own community.

“This will make them better observers for different things that are going on, open their eyes to more things going on around their community, and understand why police are responding in a certain way,” Caveng said. “Once you gain knowledge about what somebody is doing and why, it makes it a little bit easier for you to understand, and that’s what I’m hoping for.”

The seven-week academy will close with a graduation ceremony where participants will receive certificates for their accomplishments.

“The academy is just another program we are using to break down barriers between our officers and the citizens we serve,” Police Chief Patrick Gurcsik said. “Hopefully, our residents and police officers get to know each other and discover mutual goals for the community we live in and serve.”

The Citizen Police Academy will be limited to 30 people who must be 18 and older. Caveng said there is a preference to Washington Township residents, and background checks will be performed. The application process for the Citizen Police Academy will close on May 30.

The Washington Township Police Department will also be holding its annual Junior Police Academy from July 24 to July 28. Targeting middle school ages, between 11 and 14 years old, the program will motivate young people to build safer schools and communities. Enrollment is open for the Junior Police Academy and will close on June 16.

Those interested in either police academy are encouraged to contact the Washington Township Parks and Recreation for an application. Call (856) 589–3227.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue