TWIN FALLS — The annual Citizen's Police Academy was started by the Twin Falls Police Department in 2007 and is on schedule to resume this year.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 course was canceled.
Typically the academy is held for 11 weeks. However, the department has decided to condense it to five weeks for this year due to the logistics for both the department and residents.
The academy focuses on educating those in attendance about how the department handles their daily responsibilities.
“A lot of it is about building those relationships," said J.P. O'Donnell, the community outreach director for Twin Falls Police Department. "Having that understanding, having that communication, why we do what we do.”
Each week, different aspects of the job will be covered ranging from the general purpose of the department and what it will be like in the future to specific units, such as traffic, and the work they experience.
“We’ll have our emergency vehicle operations instructors out where they are teaching the citizens some of the driving techniques and tactics that we utilize throughout our patrol," said O'Donnell.
People will even get to experience the more extreme scenarios and work with specialized units like K9s and more.
“Sessions with our SWAT team, with their specialized weapons and tactics," said O'Donnell. "It’s kind of fun because citizens get to take part a little bit in some of those specialty items and understand it and do some shooting. And along with our bomb squad, our bomb squad does a demonstration.”
People who are interested in attending the event are encouraged to submit an application through the Twin Falls Police Department and to do it sooner rather than later.
“Come into the Twin Falls Police Department lobby, we can supply that application, or if there is any questions you can contact us at 208-735-7200,” said O'Donnell.
The academy will take place once a week on Wednesdays from September 8 to October 6. Each session will last from 6-9 p.m.