Cape Coral Citizen’s Police Academy accepting applications
The citizens of Cape Coral have a unique opportunity to learn about the Cape Coral Police Department through a 10-week orientation program, free of charge, in September.
The Citizen’s Police Academy will be held from Thursday, Sept. 12, through Thursday, Nov. 12. The Thursday classes will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Cape Coral Police Department training rooms. Tactical Driving, driving a police car, which is conducted off-site and during daylight hours, will be held on a Saturday. A background check is done on all applicants, who must Cape Coral residents, and at least 20 years old.
Cape Coral Police Department Community Outreach Projects Coordinator Joy Nyack encourages residents to register for the Citizen’s Police Academy before the end of August, giving her three weeks to run the applications through a background check before the first class.
Within a week after the application is submitted, the individual will hear from Nyack sharing that the application is in process and a follow-up email will be received in early to mid August letting them know of further details.
The Citizen’s Police Academy, which has always been free of charge, began in the fall of 1998. Nyack said she has had individuals as young as 20 and as old as 97 attend the academy.
Although the Citizen’s Police Academy is advertised on the police department’s website and through media outlets, Nyack said that word-of-mouth is what drives in new applicants.
“I take as many applicants that I can get,” she explained, because half will not attend, or something will come up during the 10-week program. “If you know you are going on vacation and not going to be there, you won’t get the whole experience. If you miss a class I will send you an agenda for the next class. You are welcome to come back and make up those classes.”
Participants will be introduced to a new police department area each week.
A forensic technician will come in and do samples, as well as a presentation, before the participants have the opportunity to ask the expert in the field questions.
Another class will focus on traffic stop scenarios. After procedures and protocols are discussed in a class setting, participants will head into the employee parking lot to experience a scenario first hand.
Nyack said the civilians will become officers and the officers will become civilians to get the full feel of what a traffic stop scenario entails.
“You never know who is in the car. You never know who you are stopping,” she said, adding that she always receives a lot of feedback from this class.
Other classes will focus on a K9 presentation, criminal law, patrol, domestic violence scenarios, SWAT, DUI and communications.
“We do a tour of the communications department and a one-on-one with the training coordinator there,” Nyack said.
The Citizen’s Police Academy provides a hands-on experience for civilians, so they have a better understanding of how the police department works. She said although there is a wall around the building, nothing is hidden.
“We are not hiding from the public. All you have to do is ask,” Nyack said.
The Citizen’s Police Academy is offered in the fall, September through November, and again in the spring, March through May.
Many who participate in the Citizen’s Police Academy join the Police Volunteer Unit.
Due to the success of the Citizen’s Police Academy, the Cape Coral Police Department introduced a Youth Academy to the community, which has been offered for middle school students during the summer for the past 13 years.
“They need a little more hand holding,” Nyack said, adding that there are many summer programs offered for elementary and high school students. “They love it.”
The application can be found at www.capecops.com/newsroom/2019/7/8/ccpd-accepting-applications-for-next-citizens-police-academy-class.
For more information about the Citizen’s Police Academy, call the Cape Coral Police Department Community Outreach Programs Unit at (239) 242-3342.