Deadlines set for citizens' police academies
by Jessica Loeding
Mar 14, 2013 | 1386 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Those on the north end of the county wishing for an inside look at law enforcement will have their chance this spring.

Adairsville Police Department will bring back the Citizens’ Police Academy for a second year this May.

“We did our first one last year, and it was a great success,” Chief Robert Jones said. “Last year was my first full year as chief, and I had said if I ever got the chance I was going to do one.”

Beginning Monday, May 6, classes will be held each Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. for seven weeks, excluding Memorial Day, at APD, 100 Public Square in Adairsville. Applications are available in the police department’s lobby Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a valid Georgia driver’s license or ID card. The deadline to apply is April 29.

Saying academies, which have been hosted by other municipal departments and the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, bond the community, Jones believes the courses shed a different light on law enforcement.

“It’s part of community-oriented policing. It’s educating your citizens on what you do and why you do it,” he said. “It gives them another way to view police. ... They are getting to look at it through the policeman’s eyes.”

Each week the class will focus on a specific division of the Adairsville agency, offering an overview of the department’s duties and responsibilities. Participants will hear from criminal investigations, uniform patrol division and drug investigations, among others. Attendees also will have the opportunity to undergo firearms training and ride along with a patrol unit.

“We are trying to get better reach. We are trying to learn from last year,” Jones said, adding that the academy will be “more exciting” and tap into additional resources available to the agency.

The program is free to residents and business owners, but space is limited. Jones said he expects the class to be open to about 20 students.

In addition to the APD academy, the deadline for the next citizens’ academy offered through the BCSO is looming. The deadline to sign up for the April 4 session is March 29 at 5 p.m.

The 10-week course covers a range of topics, involving each department within the BCSO. Participants also have the option to become certified in CPR and have the opportunity to spend time on the firing range and riding along with officers after graduating from the class.

Applicants must be 18 years of age and pass a background check. Participants also will be fingerprinted during the course. The fee is $25, which covers the cost of materials for the class.

For more information, contact BCSO Capt. Mike Shinall at 770-382-5050, extension 6069.