Public Affairs Office
In some countries it is a mystery as to what goes on behind the doors of their police department. In the United States our police agencies are not secret and are open to public inspection.
That is easier said then done, until the process of educating the public became popular in England with their Citizen Police Academies. In the United States law enforcement agencies treated it like a trend and did them for a while and moved onto other areas of education. In Manteca we started our first Citizen Police Academy 1995 with 30 people from all walks of life, and today we have one of the longest running academies in the state. The academy is offered twice a year in the spring and fall. The class size is limited to 20 participants and they meet once a week in the evening and several Saturdays. The participants are exposed to all levels of municipal policing. The order of the classes normally start with the hiring and firing of police employees, moving onto the training aspects of the job then into specialties of the department. The instructors for the academy come from within the police department. The academy class members receive a special Citizen Police Academy identification card and a "Volunteer" shirt for participating. The highlight for many of the participants is the hands on learning they get from the range and driving demonstrations. The academy students also get to become crime scene investigators and learn the reality of the world of police work.
Upon graduation from the police academy the participants become part of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni and are on occasion called upon to help with a number of special events in the community. With over 350 members in the alumni the Citizen Police Academy members have become a vital part of the police department.
To become a participant in the academy you need to complete an application that is published one month prior to the academy class. With that application you need to submit page narrative as to why you want to be in the academy. You cannot have any felony convictions and you need to be at least 16 years old.
For more information on the Citizen Police Academy you can call the Assistant Coordinator of the Academy at 209-239-8401 ext 668.
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