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Citizen Police Academy

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What is it? What are the objectives?
The Tazewell Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy is designed for citizens of the Town of Tazewell and surrounding areas who desire a better understanding of law enforcement activities in their community. To some citizens, it may frequently appear that police officers are not doing their job or are exceeding their boundaries of authority. In the past, citizens have simply seen a uniform, usually behind a windshield or at the side of a stopped vehicle, now they will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the person behind the badge in a friendly setting. The program provides students with a better understanding of the issues and responsibilities facing law enforcement officers and how they approach various situations and problems. The Officers cannot always be aware of current situations in all areas of the community without input from community members. This program gives the officers an opportunity to learn more about specific needs from neighborhood residents. The objective of the Citizen Police Academy is not to train an individual to be a Police Officer, but rather to produce informed citizens.
Potential candidates for the Citizen Police Academy must meet the following requirements:
1.) Minimum age: 18 years of age.
2.) Live and work in the town of Tazewell or surrounding areas
3.) No felony convictions or charges
4.) No misdemeanor arrests within one year of application
Note: Because of the sensitive nature of law enforcement work, a background investigation will be completed for each applicant. This will include criminal history, driver license status, and warrant check.
Any requirement may be waived or modified upon review and approval of the Chief of Police.
The Tazewell Police Department is excited to offer the Citizen Police Academy. This academy is for anyone who has ever wondered about what police work is like or had questions about the everyday procedures of their law enforcement officials including patrol, drug enforcement, courts, probation, and corrections.
The Academy provides community members with an inside look at local law enforcement and allows citizens to meet and talk with all the members of the department. While taking the classes, citizens will be introduced to a variety of topics such as an in-depth look at the criminal justice system, forensics, patrol procedures, narcotics, self-defense, corrections, traffic enforcement, sex offender laws, and criminal procedures.
The nine-week Academy program is designed to give citizens an overview of the police department’s function and operational procedures. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to the traditional Police Academy; however, the weekly sessions are not designed to train the participant as a police officer, but to allow participants to be more informed about police procedures.
Academy classes are taught by Chief Cooper and all of the members of the Tazewell Police Department. Throughout the courses he will have different members of the department teaching in areas that they have expertise at along with guest speakers from other agencies. Throughout the course, participants will also have the opportunity to attend training, tours of the county’s 911 center and regional jail, and have the opportunity to actually ride-along with an officer on regular patrol duty.
The Citizen Police Academy is not a training class, but is an exciting information class, a behind- the-scenes look at the Tazewell Police Department.
To find out information on the next offering of this free course can contact Mrs. Flora Sinkford at the Tazewell Police Department at 276-988-2503.