Citizen’s Police Academy
This unique and thought provoking eight-week course is aimed at adults from the ages of 18 and beyond. Its goal is to educate the public on the various aspects of police work within the City of Opelika - the various divisions, the training officers must go through, the dangers faced by Opelika 's force on a daily basis. Each week participants have the opportunity to listen to officers from various divisions in the force relate their duties, the training and experience required for that particular division. Members are given hand outs filled with more information and statistics and they also get a "hands on" experience to give them a feel for what it is like to wear a badge in the City of Opelika.
About the Course
An overview of the varying topics discussed during the course of the ten week study is listed below:
- Week Number 1 - Welcome to Citizens Police Academy Night: This night is an overview of what to expect for the whole eight weeks of classes. Participants get a tour of the police department headquarters and receive their initial materials for the class, sign waivers, and meet the officers who will be the instructors during the eight week period
- Week Number 2 - Patrol Procedures: A look into what all takes place when the Opelika Police "take to the road" - the paperwork and documentation which must take place, as well as the special equipment that our police force is fortunate to have and how it is used. Participants sign up for an evening with police officers as they patrol the streets of our community or take 911 calls from citizens in distress.
- Week Number 3 - Investigations: It's not like "Law and Order" - REAL investigations take a whole lot more time and effort and a tremendous amount of attention paid to intricately detailed (often times minuscule) pieces of evidence. There are demonstrations and class participation exercises in this session.
- Week Number 4 - Traffic: It's not as simple or easy or safe as it appears to be. Demonstrations and class participation exercises are included in this session.
- Week Number 5 - Canine: This is a really fun night! Participants see "up close and personal" the K-9 units what it takes to train them, their unique abilities to maneuver in adverse situations. There are demonstrations by the K-9 units.
- Week Number 6 - SWAT :Academy students will learn what it takes to be a SWAT team member. There will be demonstrations by OPD's SWAT. officers. High energy night!
- Week Number 7 - Fire Arms Training System (FATS): A computerized system that puts officers through simulated scenarios to teach them how to make split-second decisions, and how much force to use in any given situation, is the focus of the training this evening. (It's harder than it looks!) Officers demonstrate the use of the FATS system, and then every participant an opportunity to do the same!
- Week Number 8 - Graduation Night: This is a fun night where police officers and participants gather together one last time. Class members receive certificates of graduation and a "memory book" - and enjoy a delicious catered dinner!