The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 9, 2013

Citizens Police Academy apps now available

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid Police Department is taking applications for its next Citizens Police Academy, scheduled for August.

Capt. Jack Morris said for applications to be considered for the next academy, they must be received no later than 5 p.m. July 31. 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 the structure and activities of EPD. 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, held one night a week for about 21⁄2 hours, are taught by members of the department, and students also receive training with Tasers, K-9 units and learn defensive tactics.

Classes for the fifth Citizens Police Academy begin Aug. 27.

“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.