What is the Citizens Police Academy?
The relationship between police and citizen has often been one of uncertainty and unease. Although citizens have always had a certain curiosity or interest in the role of police officers, society as a whole largely misunderstands the role and daily job of law enforcement officers. Television media has tried to capitalize on this curiosity with the creation of unrealistic police dramas, forensic programs and " cop shows". These have only added to the misconceptions and widen ed the divide between the citizen and police officer. Routinely news " experts " dissect an officers every move with little or no actual expertise. Now more than ever we need to use the natural curiosity that citizens have about the police to foster a better understanding between officers and those that we have taken an oath to protect.
One of the most effective ways that we can eliminate the divide between citizen and officer is through the Citizen s Police Academy. This program is intended to o pen the lines of communication between the Community and the Police Department. It is important to promote an open dialogue between these two groups based on reasonable goals and expectations and a CPA is an excellent tool to do that. To the citizen, it may frequently appear that the police are not doing their job or are exceeding their boundaries. By allowing citizens a firsthand look at what rules, regulations and policies the police follow, some of the misunderstanding may be alleviated.
The objective of the Citizen Police Academy is not to train an individual to be a " Reserve Police Officer " but to produce informed citizens . The Citizens and Police Officers meet each other face to face in a neutral, friendly setting and each becomes a per son to the other. In the past, citizens have simply seen a uniform, now they have an understanding about the person behind the badge.
Many of our Citizens Police Academy graduates go on to become active members of our CPA Alumni Association. Individuals w ho have successfully completed a CPA academy have the option of joining the Webster CPAAA – the group meets every month, the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm. The stated purpose of this group is " to bring together graduates of the Webster Citizen Police Academy, to enhance the relations between the community and the police force, to assist all law enforcement agencies, to share the view of the Webster Police Department with other citizens and to improve the efficiency of law enforcement in their neighborhoods through shared responsibilities and resources. "
For additional information contact 281-332-2426.