What is the Citizen Police Academy?
The Citizen Police Academy is a free community education program intended to build lasting relationships between program participants and the Columbus Division of Police, with the ultimate goal of reducing crime and achieving the best police service in the Columbus community. The program will give people an inside look at the values, philosophies, and operations of the Division, while at the same time serving as an open forum for questions, discussion, and the exchange of ideas. Both participants and Division personnel will be better able to dispel concerns and misconceptions, improving police and community rapport.
What topics are covered?
Participants will have the opportunity to tour many of the Division facilities, which may include the Training Academy, Crime Lab, Heliport, SWAT Unit, Mounted Unit, and Radio Room. Subject-matter experts from all over the Division will provide instruction on topics such as the function of patrol officers, ABC’s of policing, defensive tactics, internal affairs, and laws of arrest, search, and seizure. Participants will also learn about how individuals become police officers and about the on-going training that officers receive. - sample schedule
When is the Academy?
The Citizen Police Academy runs for twelve weeks and classes are held one evening a week for three hours. Classes will primarily convene at the Columbus Police Training Academy, and typically last from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Participation in the academy requires a substantial commitment, and any participant who misses more than two classes will not be able to graduate.
What comes after the program?
Upon completion of the program, participants will be recognized at a Saturday graduation ceremony and reception hosted by the acting Chief. Graduates are encouraged to bring family and friends to help honor the occasion. Following graduation day, program alumni will be invited back multiple times every year to quarterly alumni events, where new and special topics will be presented. Alumni of the program are also encouraged to join the Division’s volunteer program, where they’ll have the opportunity to volunteer alongside officers of the Division in service to the community.
Who can apply?
Any member of the Columbus community who meets the following criteria:
1. Must be a city resident, work in the city, own a business / property, or have other strong ties to the City of Columbus.
2. Must be able to make a commitment to attend the twelve week course.
3. Must be 18 years of age or older.
Criteria that will disqualify an applicant can be found here. - learn more