Plano residents interested in the inner workings of the Plano Police Department are encouraged to apply to the spring 2020 Citizens Police Academy. The 12-week class will begin on Feb. 6 and take place on Thursday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m.
The Citizens Police Academy (CPA) began as a way to connect with Plano community members curious about how law enforcement officers operate on a daily basis.
“It was an idea put together by officers within the department, working in our crime unit to connect with our community, to let our community know and understand the work that we do and kind of get a little bit of a behind the scene look,” Public Information Officer David Tilley said.
Lectures and activities in the police academy involve a tactical driving course, burglary investigations, K9 interaction, bomb squad and SWAT team equipment, and firearm safety. Other nights discuss recruitment, internal affairs and the jail system.
According to Tilley, Plano residents who graduate from the academy have the opportunity to become members of the Plano Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (PCPAAA.) Members of the association can then help police officers with tasks like patrolling for parking violations, archiving news stories for investigations and assisting with department events.
Volunteers from the association are often integral to the department during the holiday season as they help deliver gifts to families in need.
“We just want those people who maybe have a question about how this police department operates and just want to know more about the department and possibly even become involved,” Tilley said.
Eligible applicants are over 18 years of age, have a valid Texas driver’s license and pass a background check.