WHPS Citizens Academy begins Feb. 20

WHPSbadgeMcCoyWest Hennepin Public Safety will offer its Citizens Police Academy, beginning seven weeks of classes on Feb. 20 and ending with graduation on April 10, 2014. Classes will meet one day per week, 7-10 p.m. Thursdays.

The recommended attendee age is 18 years and older. To obtain enrollment information, contact the West Hennepin Public Safety Department at 763-479-0500 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Citizens Academy is a free 21-hour block of instruction, sponsored by the Crime Fund. Classes are designed to give citizens knowledge about how their public safety department operates, including its policies, procedures, programs and challenges. In addition, students will be introduced to government officials and staff and learn about responsibilities of their respective offices.

The purpose of Citizens Police Academy is to create a better understanding of law enforcement through education. Academy participants are presented with realistic hands-on information on topics such as DWI, traffic enforcement and home security. The unit on police use of deadly force includes a demonstration of the stun gun and FATS training (firearms simulation). Other topics are the Hennepin County Dispatch Center, court procedures including testifying before a judge and many other areas related to law enforcement.

“This is a great opportunity to meet your peace officers, fellow citizens, and other members of government to learn why we do what we do,” said WHPS Director Ray McCoy. “At graduation you will receive a certificate and become a member of the Citizens Academy Network Alumni.”

He added, “We believe an informed citizenry will enhance public safety, make better decisions about how to protect themselves and their business, understand law enforcement strategies to problem-solving and provide leadership to other areas of government.”