This is a great program and after graduating from the academy, one has the option to join the Alumni Association [SCPAAA] - which offers the opportunity to volunteer in various areas to support the SPD within the community.
There should be another academy class within a few weeks, I think.
"The objective of the Citizen Police Academy is not to train an individual to be a 'Reserve Police Officer' but to produce informed citizens. The Citizens and Police Officers meet each other face to face in a neutral, friendly setting and each becomes a person to the other. In the past, citizens have simply seen a uniform, now they have an understanding about the person behind the badge."
The Academy is a ten-eleven week program (three hours one evening a week) with various police instructors and law experts. Instruction consists of lectures, demonstrations, tours, and riding with a police officer. We learned about the S.W.A.T. team, the canine force, forensics, use of force, criminal law (if I remember correctly Judge Frank Follis spoke to us about this subject) and information about illegal drugs. We were informed about search and seizure, patrol tactics, firearms safety, and students observe hands on training that the officers perform.
The program originated in Orlando, Florida in 1984. Orlando was the first city in the United States to start a Citizen’s Police Academy. Since that time, there are hundreds of cities who use the program and thousands of graduates. All classes are free.
The more information the public has about the police department, less fears and misconceptions will exist. This is a very worthwhile (and eye-opening) program.