GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Police Department will be hosting another Citizen's Academy soon, a program that occurs twice a year.
It will consist of both classroom and hands-on training to show what police officers do during their day-to-day duties.
GFPD Special Projects Officer John Marshall said, "The Citizens' Academy in general is really the best way for us as a police department to connect to our community members."
He explained, "You get a chance to really learn the inner workings of the police department and how we function, answer all those questions that you have, like, ‘How do we do that,’ or ‘Why do they park their cars like that,’ or ‘What is it like to shoot a gun,’ ‘What is it like to go on a ride-along’ and really see that activity that goes on in the street every day. It’s how we show that we’re not just officers, we are humans behind this badge. We’re family members, we’re husbands, we’re wives, we’re brothers, we’re sisters, and when we come to work, we’re here to help out the community, and this is our best way that we can truly give back and show and open those doors up in a good way.”
What subjects are covered?
- Records / Evidence/ Support Capt. / Investigation Capt. / Patrol Capt.
- Live Range Day / Jail Tour / 911 Dispatch Tour
- Sex Crimes / Internet Crimes Against Children
- High Risk Unit (HRU)
- DUI & DRE
- High Risk Traffic Stops / Pepper Spray / Defense Tactics / Handcuffing
- General Case Detectives / Criminal Motorcycle Gangs
- Police Culture / PTSD
- Animal Control
Marshall says the purpose is to enhance citizen understanding and awareness of the role that officers serve, and that the end goal is for the public to have a better perception of the police and their services.
He noted, "We want to make sure that we are bringing everybody in, and we have no secrets. We want you to know how we work, and how we function, how we do the things we do, and why we do the things we do. We want to just reach out to the community, so you know what we can do and what we are doing for you and the community.”
The Citizens' Academy will start on March 7; this session is already full, but another will be held later in the year - click here to visit the GFPD website for more information.
Great Falls Fire Rescue will also host its Citizens' Academy running from March 24 through May 12. Application deadline is March 11th; email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.