If you’ve never stopped to think about the police beyond how to avoid receiving a speeding ticket from them (we’ve all been there), take a moment and consider all they do in our community. Much of what they do happens away from the public eye, and you might be fascinated to learn some of the responsibilities and operations of your local police department. Many of the branches in this city offer Citizen Academy programs that provide that kind of insight to the public. The Citizen Academy isn’t about making police officers out of the participants, but simply about making them better informed about the many roles and functions of the police.
If you think you might be interested in joining a FREE Citizen Academy class, keep reading for more information on individual branches:
Carmel – The Carmel Police Department has been offering a Citizens’ Academy program since April of 2001. It was a big hit and every subsequent program has been even better. The Carmel Citizen Academy is an 11-week program. In order to participate, you need to meet each of the following criteria:
- At least 18 years old
- No criminal history beyond minor traffic violations
- Physically able to meet training requirements
- Commit to attend 11 weekly training sessions that last two or two-and-a-half hours each
- Sign any required waivers or agreements
Fishers – Fishers offers similar training in many different topics. The training for this Citizens’ Academy is one night a week for 12 weeks. Each training class will last approximately three hours. You only need to be 16 years of age for this training (though under 18 will need to have parental consent ahead of time). If you live in the Hamilton Southeastern School District, you are more than welcome to apply.
Westfield – The next Citizens’ Academy will take place from April 11 – June 20 for those 21 or older in this district. All applications for the FREE class must be turned in by February 15. Participants learn about everything from road patrol and K9 to criminal investigations and active shooter situations.
Avon – The west side suburb has a Citizens’ Academy that lasts for 30 hours over the course of ten consecutive weeks (three hours per session). The class beings Wednesday, April 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Avon Police Department in the Avon Town Court room. You have to be at least 21 years old and live or work within Avon to be eligible for this Citizen Academy. This program includes ride alongs.
Indianapolis – If you live within city limits and are at least 18 years of age, you can attend the Citizens’ Academy at 901 N. Post Road. This Citizen Academy is 11 weeks long (three hours per session), teaching about use of force, criminal law, community problem solving, and more. For more information on how to sign up, call the IMPD Training Academy at 327-6650. Like Avon, ride alongs are available with this program, too.
Finally, if you live on the south side, keep an eye out for the Greenwood Citizens’ Academy. It is usually held in the fall, so details are scarce right now.