In a Thursday evening ceremony, the Asheville Police Department recognized 33 people who completed its Spring Citizens Police Academy. The program, offered twice a year, takes participants through in-depth tours and descriptions of the inner workings of the Asheville Police Department to give them a better understanding of law enforcement and build relationships with APD officers.
“The primary thing we are trying to do is build a bridge of communication with the community,” said Crime Prevention Officer Allen Dunlap.
Three-hour classes over 13 weeks covered all aspects of law enforcement including forensics, constitutional law, patrol, criminal investigation and gang investigations, giving the participants a more intimate knowledge of the skills and risk it takes to protect and serve.
“The Citizens Police Academy is a great opportunity for citizens in our community to learn the inner workings of the Asheville Police Department. This was a great class and I hope they left with a better understanding of the work the men and women perform in protecting our community”, said Chief William J. Anderson
For participant Mike Kenton, the experience was an eye opener. “I can tell you that I understand the police force better and have a new level of respect and appreciation for the officers.
Along with the regular classes, participants were invited to ride along with APD officers on patrol as well as utilize the departments simulation driving and shooting range to engage in training scenarios similar to interactions officers would have on patrol.
As participant Mike Kenton again stated: “It’s important for the citizens of Asheville to understand that their police force is dedicated, professional and well trained. I would highly recommend this program to other citizens.”
The Asheville Police Department hosts a Citizens Police Academy twice a year, as well as a Junior Citizens Police Academy in the summer. Participants must apply and be accepted in order to participate. For more information about these programs, contact Officer Dunlap at 259-5834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.