(SAVANNAH) Time is running out to sign up for the most immersive exposure to police work in Savannah. The application period for the Citizen’s Police Academy of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department ends next Friday, February 12, 2016. The Citizen’s Police Academy is in it’s 25th year in Savannah. Academy Assistant Director, Gianna Nelson, says the program has produced nearly 600 graduates in the last ten years, but the next session is marking a new chapter in the program’s history in the Hostess City. ” We have a whole new environment in this department with Chief Lumpkin and it’s one off a little more compassion and understand and training the officers how to deal with the public in a one-to-one basis.” said Nelson
Nelson adds the academy is a chance for the public to really see what police officers deal with, but the lessons are not limited to lectures in a classroom. ” You get the opportunity to do an 8 hour ride-along. That’s a full tour, with a police officer in your area, your neighborhood in your precinct, you get to see what they actually face on a day-to-day basis.” Nelson said. The goal is to build stronger relationships between police and the community. “In this climate now where we have the anti-gun violence initiative going on, it’s collaborative…and if we don’t work as a collaborative, then it’s not gonna work.” said Nelson.
The academy is is much more than a look at the work behind the badge, Nelson says the experience can really shatter misconceptions about police work in our community. ” People don’t understand what the police department does, uh, this kinda dispels any mystery about the department. Our officers are open and honest. They will answer any questions you have as long as it’s not pertaining to a specific incident.” Nelson said. Applications for the Citizen’s Police Academy need to be signed, notarized, and returned to Police Headquarters by Friday, February 12, 2016. Classes will meet on Thursday’s from 6:30 -9:30p.m. in the squad room inside SCMPD headquarters at 201 Habersham Street. The academy will last 13 weeks and the new session is set to begin Thursday, February 18, 2016.