Programs offer a firsthand look into police work
The Pasadena Police Department will offer a Citizen Police Academy (CPA) starting in March. The 13-week course gives Pasadena residents and business owners the opportunity to experience police work firsthand, the way no television show can capture.
The CPA starts on Tuesday, March 6 and runs through June 12. Participants attend once a week, on Tuesday evenings from 7-10 p.m. Every week, students in the class get an inside look at things like S.W.A.T., police pursuits, firearms demonstrations and criminal, narcotics and crime scene investigations. The program highlights many of the different facets of the department and provides members of the community information to help them better understand the operation of the Pasadena Police Department.
The CPA is free and open to all Pasadena residents and individuals who own a business in Pasadena. Participants must be 21 or older and must pass a criminal background check.
Classes are held in PPD’s Community Room (1201 Davis) and range from lectures to demonstrations and even hands-on practice. Each week, a different area of the department is covered. Mollie Payne, in PPD’s community services division, said the program highlights and explains the many different facets of the police department.
“The CPA helps people see what an officer really goes through,” Payne said. “The course gives citizens the chance to see the department in a whole new light.”
There is also a Jr. Citizen Police Academy, specifically designed for high school juniors and seniors. The Jr. CPA is a shorter course, running from March 5 through May 21, with classes on Mondays from 6-9 p.m. The program is similar to the adult CPA, but is tailored to teens, particularly those who have an interest in working in law enforcement in the future.
Both courses are also a good fit for anyone looking for a way to get more involved in the community, or even just meet new people. Beyond learning about the police department, Payne said students also form friendships. Each session of CPA classes are limited to no more than 25 participants, so as the small group spends time together, doing things like observing in the department’s dispatch center, riding along with officers during a shift or driving a police car at the driving track, they tend to form close bonds.
“Everyone that takes part loves it; they just have fun. And we’ve had a cross-section of our community involved in past classes. For example, our oldest CPA participant to date is almost 90 years old,” Payne said. “It’s a chance for everyone to get involved and to really get to know the police department and our officers.”
Space is limited in both courses, so anyone interested in participating is encouraged to submit an application soon. More details and the applications for the Citizen Police Academy and the Jr. Citizen Police Academy can both be found on the City of Pasadena’s website at www.ci.pasadena.tx.us. For more information, contact the Community Services Division at 713-475-7071.