Applications are being taken for the Brainerd Police Department's Citizen Police Academy.
The deadline to apply is March 14. The academy will consist of one 2.5-hour session a week for six weeks. The academy will meet from 6:30-9 p.m. starting March 20 and ending April 24. Applications and academy information can be picked up at the Brainerd Police Department, 225 East River Road, or by calling the police department at 829-2805. A background check is required for admittance to the academy.
Sgt. David Holtz, who coordinates the academy, said the six-week course will cover an introduction into policing, patrols, investigations, traffic enforcement, use of force and crime prevention.
The goal of the academy is to foster a better relationship between the community and the police department through training. Holtz said it is hoped that the graduates will gain a better understanding of the operations of the Brainerd Police Department and a fuller comprehension and awareness of the various challenges and decisions officers face daily.
"We want to have a partnership with the community and have an opportunity to explain to them how we do our jobs," Holtz said. "We want to educate the community, dispel myths about police and enhance our partnership with the community."
The academy was started by former Police Chief Frank Ball and is held every two years. Holtz said there have been about six sessions to date.
"The people that go through it enjoy it very much," Holtz said. "We get very positive feedback from it."
Graduates of the academy also have the opportunity to join the Lakes Area Law Enforcement Association. Only graduates of the academy can join the association.
"The Citizen's Police Academy is a great forum for citizens to learn more about their police department and see firsthand how competent and professional their police officers are," Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc said.
Holtz said a quote by Sir Robert Peel, a 19th century British prime minister and founder of modern policing, sums of the academy.
"He said, People are police and the police are the people.' This fits into that."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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