The Citizens' Police Acadmy program was first implemented in 1993 as part of the Department’s ongoing effort to develop a working relationship with the community. This 14-week program is offered 2 times per year: during the Spring and Fall. Participants are nominated by the Commanding Officers of every Precinct, Transit District, and Housing Police Service Area.
Experienced Training Bureau instructors provide training in the legal, social and procedural aspects of policing. In addition to core courses, other areas of study include firearms discipline and counterterrorism. Lectures, electronic media, role-plays, simulations, and workshops are utilized to educate community members about police training and tactics, with the goal of having participants acquire a better understanding of the authority and limitations of the police. The information and insight gained from the program allows all involved to assess their roles and responsibilities in fostering effective and productive police-community partnerships.
Upon graduation, participants are encouraged to participate in the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association which allows for continued involvement and education about the Police Department. The Association also sponsors a community service program.