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Naperville Citizens Police Academy

What may sound like warfare, is actually the sound of an education for this group of residents.

That’s because they’re members of the Citizens Police Academy, a program designed to give everyday residents a hands on experience of the Police Department.

“It’s a nine week course, it used to be 13, we cut it down to nine, and what we try to do is get people involved from the community to see what it’s like to be a police officer, dispatcher, dispatch, animal control, we bring them through everything in the police department,” said Deputy Chief of Police, Brian Cunningham.
Each week the group tries out something new, everything from forensics to learning about animal control. In this case it was gun safety, and you can’t learn that without taking a shot.

Every member got to try out the tools of the trade, as well as watch some demonstrations of other police tactics.

“Today was a really fun day because we got to be in the shooting range, we learned about gun safety, we learned a lot about the different guns in which they use, and quite frankly some of the tactics they use to defuse certain situations, because it’s not always about lethal force,” said Mike Isaac, a participant with the Citizens Police Academy.

The goal behind this for the Police Department is to form a relationship with those they serve.

“Those people that are in the class are our ambassadors, it’s kind of like a force multiplier for us and they go out and tell people about the Police Department and that’s what we want,” said Deputy Chief of Police Cunningham.

And it’s clear they’ve certainly reached that target.

“We live in a wonderful community and our community is incredibly safe and honestly it’s safe because of the individuals that work for the police force,” said Isaac.

To become a member of the Citizens Police Academy, you must apply, be 18, a resident of Naperville and pass a criminal background check.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.


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