Area residents who are curious of what a police officer does daily now have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs through first hand experiences.

The Seguin Police Department is accepting applications for community members to join the Citizens Police Academy, a 10-week program that exposes participants to various aspects of the department.

“It’s an opportunity for people in our community to come through a 10-week class to see what officers do,” Seguin police spokesperson Officer Tanya Brown said. “We expose them to experience traffic stops. Our K-9 comes in and our narcotics division as well. We do DWIs with them. We do the drunk goggles where they can experience what it is like for people to drive under the influence.”

The program gives participants a better understanding of the rigors of police work, Brown said.

“They get to see our side. So many people are curious or wonder what we do behind the scenes and I think this gives them the opportunity to have that experience,” she said. “I think they have a better understanding of respect for law enforcement.”

Program participants will also get to go on ride-alongs with the officers, Brown said.

“They actually get to go to calls for service and see what we do and how we interact with the public and what sort of calls we get,” she said.

Once residents have gone through the program and graduated, they’ll be invited to join the Citizens Police Alumni Association, Brown said.

“What they do is do some volunteer work for the police department,” she said. “They’ve done fundraisers. They’ve bought K-9s for us in the past.”

The deadline to apply to the program is July 15 with the class starting on Aug. 1 and the program graduation slated for Oct. 1.

“I think it’s a great way for the public to see what we do and have a different perspective on law enforcement,” Brown said. “A lot of people that join this class they don’t really interact with law enforcement. Every now and then you’ll find that they’re a victim and they have to call the police, but they don’t really know how because they don’t have much exposure to law enforcement.”

The application for the Citizens Police Academy is available at bit.ly/2LIXVYF .

 

Valerie Bustamante is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at valerie.bustamante@seguingazette.com .

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