Academy accepting applications

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Members of the fall 2013 Citizens’ Academy celebrate their graduation at the end of November. Applications are now being accepted for the spring 2014 academy. (Submitted photo)

Members of the fall 2013 Citizens’ Academy celebrate their graduation at the end of November. Applications are now being accepted for the spring 2014 academy. (Submitted photo)

The Citizen’s Academy is an 11-week program for Westfield residents to receive firsthand experience in various aspects of police work. The class meets once a week in the evenings. Participants will tour the county jail, dispatch and training center and learn about patrol and investigation operations. They also will participate in evidence processing, emergency driving, patrol stops, firearms training, defense tactics, taser and K9 demonstrations and active shooter simulations.

“It helps us explain what we are about. They truly understand the type of stress, pressure and split decisions we have to make,” WPD Officer Song Kang said. “What it is to be a police officer in general.”

To participate in the spring 2014 Citizen’s Academy, those interested must fill out an application before April 11 and pass a background test. Space is limited. Any applications submitted after the deadline will be held for the next session. The spring academy meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday from April 17 to July 3. There is no cost to participate but residents must be 21 or older with no criminal history.

“There’s no other environment to ask questions. It’s very open and raw,” Lt. Mike Seagrave, academy coordinator, said. “We want to build that relationship with the community. At the end of it, hopefully we’ll have 18 friends of the department and gained another eye on the street.”

Applications are available at www.westfield.in.gov/eGov/apps/services/index.egov?view=detail;id=126. For more information, call 804-3200.

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