Citizen Police Academy
The role of Police Officers in the community has intrigued the average Citizen for many years. Television has capitalized upon this curiosity and each week shows like “Cops”, “America’s Most Wanted”, and “Stories of the Highway Patrol” are broadcast into the homes of millions of Americans. Numerous Police Agencies have also benefited from the curiosity that citizens have about the police. Many of these agencies have formed Citizen Police Academy programs that are intended to open the lines of communication between the Community and the Police Department. Generally, the relationship between the police and the citizen is a “love/hate” one. Many Citizens believe 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 are required to follow, some of the misunderstandings are 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 face to face in a neutral, friendly setting and each becomes a person to the other. In the past, citizens have simply seen a uniform, now they have an understanding about the person behind the badge.
Since its inception in 1998, the Jacksonville Beach Citizen Police Academy (JBCPA) has graduated 41 classes with over 1,050 graduates. The JBCPA provides an opportunity for citizens and officers alike to come together in a relaxing and interactive atmosphere to learn more about the “inner workings” of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department. Presentations are given during a 12-week academy session that meets every Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Two academy sessions are held each year and begin on the second Thursday in January and July. Attendees receive a customized CPA logo polo shirt and handout materials. Participants are treated to many media packed presentations highlighting the major divisions and sections within the organization. They will be able to hold and interact with a lot of tactical gear used by police officers. They will receive highly charged presentations from officers who are members of the:
Narcotic detective squad;
Evidence Technicians squad;
Traffic and DUI unit
Graduates of the Jacksonville Beach Citizen Police Academy formed an Alumni Association (JBCPAAA) to continue their association with and support for the police department. Their assistance has been invaluable to the department. Members continue their education about the department by attending training sessions during their monthly meetings. They volunteer for activities such as the Kids Halloween and Christmas Parties, assistance at various festivals, fingerprinting, Kids Fishing Rodeo, data entry, and vehicle maintenance. Currently, there are over 100 members of the CPAAA who volunteer over 13,225 hours of time last year.
Some extra presentations are given on:
A real life cold case homicide;
A real major crime scene incident from beginning to finish; and
Criminal sexual offenders.
Attendees go to the gun range use officers’ guns (including semi-auto and fully automatic weapons). They dust for fingerprints with evidence technicians, and ride along with a patrol officer during a patrol shift.
Class 42 will start on January 10, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. The cost to attend is only $25. All applications and registration fees are due to the station at 101 South Penman Rd, Jacksonville Beach by January 8, 2019.