by William Crum
The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department started a program called Citizen Police Academy on Monday, Sept. 8.
To be enrolled in the program you must be a resident, a student, or employed in Kansas City, Kan. Applicants must be 21 years of age. The class size is limited to 20 people.
The participants go to two evenings per week for seven weeks from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., which equals 40 hours total. Participants are encouraged to be on time and only one excused absence is accepted. This is similar to what a person who goes to the police academy has to go through.
“The purpose of this program is to give local citizens of all walks of life a chance to find out for themselves, what a police officer goes through while in training,” said said Kansas City, Kan., Officer William Barajas Jr., a senior master patrolman with the Police Academy who is citizen-intern liaison.
Because of programs like this, there has been a considerable decrease in crime through citizen involvement, he said.
Within this program they will talk about the mission statement of the Police Department and the ethics and the values of the department itself. It gives the citizens who participate in the program a better understanding of the operation and procedures of the Police Department, and a better understanding of the role of the police officer. It promotes more positive citizen interactions with the police and shows how citizens can help the police. Police officers have to make judgment calls many times on very short notice.
Within the class the participants will receive greater knowledge regarding the laws concerning arrest, search and seizure, testifying in court, the prosecution process, as well as proper police procedures, what it takes to do a proper police patrol, and the use of the firearms training system in judgment situations.
At the end of the course the participants will be issued a certificate. This course is only offered in the fall of every year. During the last several years this course has gained popularity among local residents.
As of now, the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department is planning to hold this class next fall. If you ever wanted to know what a police officer has to go through, you may get more information on taking the class next fall by contacting the Kansas City, Kan., Police Training Academy at 913-596-2056.