The Newport Beach Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy is accepting applications for its next session that begins on Sept. 20.
About ten spots are available for the academy, which will meet from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for 12 consecutive Thursdays. About 30 adults who live or work in Newport Beach may take the classes.
The classes are not meant to prepare citizens for real police academies, but rather to increase participants’ understanding of how the police department operates, said Kathy Lowe, a police department spokeswoman. During the 12-week program, participants will meet the police chief, tour the station, take a ride-along, make simulated car stops, see demonstrations by the S.W.A.T. team and helicopter crews, as well as learn about crime scene investigation techniques and fingerprinting.
City Councilman Rush Hill participated in a recent academy and called the experience “educational, exciting and fun.”
“The academy provides insight to all the important functions we call upon our police to perform on a regular and continuous basis,” Hill said in an email. “You cannot attend without coming away with significant appreciation for the quality of our police officers and staff, their passion to serve, compassion for all members of the public, technical skills and love for our community. The toughness and pressure of their job is easy to grasp once you have been exposed to everything from recruitment to retirement.”
Besides living or working in Newport Beach, you must be 21 years old and have no felony convictions, warrants or pending criminal cases.
For further information, call Lowe at (949) 644-3692, or click here to read more and download an application or schedule.
“The Citizens Police Academy provides a unique opportunity for citizens to gain insight into the day to day operations of the Newport Beach Police Department,” Lowe said in an email. “Now in its 14th year, approximately 1,000 community members have graduated from the program.”