IU Northwest, Gary Police Departments Offer Free Citizens Police Academy Beginning in January

Academy strives to familiarize citizens with police work; help PDs learn about community concerns

rot1The Police Departments of Indiana University Northwest and the City of Gary are collaborating to bring citizens together with their local law enforcement officials. The departments are providing a free 10-week Citizens Police Academy beginning in January at both locations:

At IU Northwest:
January 14 – March 25: Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m.
John W. Anderson Library Conference Center

3400 Broadway, Gary, Ind.

At the Gary Police Department:
January 18 – March 29: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
First floor, Community Room

555 Polk, Gary, Ind.

The Citizens Police Academy is designed to give local citizens and their community’s police officers an opportunity to learn more about each other and develop strong relationships between the departments and the neighborhoods they serve.

By providing citizens with a working knowledge of their local police departments and law-enforcement activities, officers from the IU Northwest and City of Gary Police Departments aim to help those whom they serve to make informed judgments about the departments and their activities. At the same time, the Academy serves to educate the police department about the issues and concerns of the community.

A community’s police departments often call on citizens for assistance in various projects. Graduates of a Citizens Police Academy, having gone through character evaluations and background checks, may be called on for assistance by the police department. Citizens often serve as valuable community resources for local officers.

Representatives of both departments will focus on a different area of police work each week, including such topics as the use of force, patrol procedures, criminal investigations, and the legal system. The instruction will include a combination of lectures, demonstrations, tours and hands-on activities, including:

· History of each department
· Criminal Justice System
· Criminal Investigations
· Use of Force
· Special Teams
· Crime Scene Processing
· Community Policing/Crime Prevention
· Legal Concepts
· Uniformed Patrol Procedures
· K9

Citizens who are at least 18 years old and who live or work in Gary are invited to apply for the free 10-week program. Prior to acceptance to the Academy, applicants will undergo a background check and may be asked to sit for a brief interview. The Academy is limited to 25 participants at each location.

Although participants of the Citizens’ Police Academy receive training in numerous police-related subjects, the graduates are not prepared or encouraged to participate in any real police services.

The deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 20. To apply at the Gary Police Department, contact Commander K. Rice at (219) 881-7422 or krice@ci.gary.in.us. To apply at the IU Police Department - Northwest, contact Sgt. Melvin Blakely at (219) 980-7222 or melblake@iun.edu. Applications can be picked up at both police departments.