Statesboro Police are offering the opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to put on a badge every day, they’re accepting applications for their 2015 Citizens Police Academy.
Officers tell News 3 it gives members of the community the chance to learn first-hand how officers do their jobs and with all of the negative attitudes towards law enforcement in today’s culture, they said its good for community members to be able to step into the officers’ shoes.
“They get to feel what it’s like to be a police officer,” said Corporal Justin Samples. “We set up scenarios and they get to role play as officers and we get to role play as criminals.”
The program started as a community outreach effort but has evolved into much more over the years.
Christina Larson graduated from the program in 2014; as a CPA who does a lot of forensic accounting she told WSAV she thought signing up would be beneficial for her work.
But she also said she got more from it than she expected. For instance, now when an officer pulls up behind her on the highway, she doesn’t panic or get annoyed thinking she’s about to be pulled over.
“Now I realize that, they’re doing their job,” said Larson. “They’re doing a good job and facing a lot of hardship and situations that they don’t know what’s coming when they stop you.”
Samples said graduates like Larson are invaluable to their work every day.
“They can be our eyes and ears in the community because we cant be anywhere all of the time. Regardless of how many officers we have on the street we still need the community’s help.”
To sign up for the next Citizens Police Academy in Statesboro you can get an application at the Statesboro Police Department on West Grady rd., it’s free for anyone to apply.
To apply for Savannah-Chatham Metro PD’s Citizen Police Academy, applications are available at all SCMPD precincts and online at http://scmpd.org.
A $10 registration fee applies and may be paid by check or money order.
For both programs participants must be 18 or older and pass a criminal background check.