The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

December 21, 2012

Citizens Police Academy applications open

ENID, Okla. — Enid Police Department still is accepting applications for its next Citizens Police Academy, scheduled for February.

Capt. Jack Morris said for applications to be considered for the next academy, they must be received no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 14. Applications for the 13-week course are available on the EPD website and can be printed, filled out and mailed or returned to the police station.

Mailed applications need to be marked to the attention of the Training Division.

The purpose of the academy is to give residents a behind-the-scenes look at the department and teach them about EPD’s structure and activities. The academies are kept small, about a dozen participants, to allow for more participation and further interaction.

“It’s a lot of fun for the officers,” said Chief Brian O’Rourke of the academies. “It’s a lot of fun for the participants.”

The academy, which is free for Enid residents older than 18, allows residents to ride along with a police officer, fire weapons used by officers and SWAT members and hear from members of each of the department’s divisions. Classes are taught by members of the department, and students also receive training with Tasers, K-9 units and learn defensive tactics.

The classes, held one night a week for about 21⁄2 hours, all are taught by members of the department. Classes for the fourth Citizens Police Academy begin Feb. 26, 2013.

“It’s a pretty dynamic and hands-on class,” Morris said. “Most of it is not simply lecture, they’re taking part in something. We limit the size of the class to keep it more hands-on, and it keeps it a more manageable group.”

Both O’Rourke and Morris said the academy is intended to inform Enid residents about their police department.

“We want to debunk some of the myths of law enforcement,” Morris said. “We want to open a channel of communication between the citizens and the police department, to give them a better understanding of our role.”

O’Rourke said: “It’s a good, exciting program for the citizens to learn what we do.”

Applications are available online at www.enid.org/police by going on the link for Citizens Police Academy and using the hyperlink on that page.

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