After a brief one-year hiatus, the annual Puyallup Police Department Citizens’ Academy has returned.
The 12-week course covers topics from police records, the 911 call center, a tour of the jail, firearms operation and training, and more. The class meets every Wednesday, with an occasional Saturday session thrown in.
The entire goal of the academy is to give citizens a chance to learn as much as they can about the Puyallup Police Department.
“We want to deputize you to be our eyes and ears,” Puyallup Police Chief Bryan Jeter told class participants March 11 during the first session of the academy.
The academy is designed for citizens who either work or live in Puyallup who want to gain firsthand knowledge about their local police department. Those participating meet every week for 12 weeks, with each class lasting two to two-and-a-half hours at various locations through out the city.
The program is a byproduct of the department striving to be as transparent with the local community as possible, Capt. Scott Engle said.
“Most citizens only see one side of the badge, and that is usually in the form of a ticket/citation with the red and blue lights going off behind you,” said past Citizens’ Academy student Michael Brown. “To be able to see the other side of the badge and what goes on behind the scenes is tremendous.”
The academy will teach citizens in both a classroom setting and hands-on learning environment, and includes a ride along with an officer, field trips to the firing range, the 911 center and the city jail.
During the first session, citizens were given a map of the department’s beats, an organizational chart of officers’ and staff’s roles in the department, and the department’s 2013 annual report. Handouts were also given on how to prevent vehicle break-ins.
According to Lisa Isaacs, a crime prevention specialist, the class notoriously fills up fast, and citizens are already on the waiting list for the 2016 class.
For more information, call 253-841-5531.