"The program is a four-week opportunity for the public to find out how and why law enforcement operates the way it does," CPD Public Information Officer Lt. Mark Camp said. "We try to offer the Citizens Police Academy at least once a year in order to allow the community to become more familiar with how the department operates."
The academy is expected to include information on traffic crash investigations, criminal investigation, evidence collection, the polygraph, law enforcement firearms and simulator training. Also, according to Chief Thomas Culpepper in a news release, what it takes to become a police officer will be discussed.
"Most often, the community only sees the patrol side of the agency and is not aware of the various divisions within the department. The CPA helps them to see all the aspects that make up the agency plus allows them to get some hands on experience as well," Camp said. "The CPA also gives a chance for citizens to have one-on-one interaction with officers and they get the opportunity to ask questions they might have such as , 'Why do officers do this or that?' 'Can you stop someone without probable cause?' The experience also help citizens to see that real police work is not always like that portrayed on television and in the movies."
While the academy is a free program to attend, seats are limited and interested residents can register to attend by calling the department at 770-382-2526. Dates are tentatively scheduled for May 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. each night of the program at Cartersville Police Department, 178 W. Main St., Cartersville.
"In this year's CPA, citizens will be exposed to patrol tactics, the criminal investigations division, the drug task force, training and hiring, judgmental shooting, special operations and more," Camp said. "While we will only have time to touch just the surface of each of these areas, I believe those attending will find it quite interesting."